Concluding Remarks

Academic traditions have developed over the course of centuries, but the development has not been without crises. During the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries degree conferment ceremonies were considered altogether too extravagant (not least because the individuals being awarded degrees were expected to pay for their own ceremonies) and there was a great deal of opposition. Between 1877 and 1935, as mentioned above, the ceremonies were extremely simple, and not particularly well organized. During the late 1960s and early 70s, there was a great deal of student unrest throughout the western world, and this was reflected in celebrations and ceremonies of the times. Sometimes the festivities were cancelled completely, on other occasions they were held with the greatest simplicity. Only a few years later, however, the tide began to turn, and today we can say that there is widespread interest in academic ceremonies and traditions. In the larger perspective, academic traditions are part of what gives every university its identity, its history and its uniqueness.

Examining the history of academic traditions, we find that they are far from being static, rigid phenomena. Traditions, too, must change and keep step with the times. Various factors also have to be taken into account, not least economic and personnel-related aspects. One might even go so far as to say that tradition is change. However, every tradition has its immutable core, which must be considered. If the core of a tradition is undermined, it may wither and die, possibly to be replaced by some other.

Institutes of higher education have increased in number in Sweden, notably during the last fifty years. This fact is also reflected in traditions and ceremonies. Local traditions and customs are being renewed, and made use of alongside the rites which are part of the original Swedish universities’ heritage. This allows each university and college to develop its own profile, and it is easy to see that no two are perfe

Last modified: 2024-01-19