How the University celebrate academic achievements.

Annual Academic Celebration

Academic achievements are celebrated during Malmö University's Annual Academic Celebration for a week in October every year.

Annual Academic Ceremony

The week-long celebration ends with the Annual Academic Ceremony, an occasion when Malmö University’s new professors are inaugurated and new doctorates are conferred. An event follows with food and mingling. Staff and external guests are invited to the celebration.

Malmö University was founded in 1998 and 20 years later, it was awarded full university status. The first promotion ceremony was held in 1999.

Medieval traditions remastered

Malmö University’s conferment and professorial inauguration aims to celebrate the scientific achievements made during the past year. Of all the medieval traditions that surround the ceremonies, some have been passed on through the years to our young university in Malmö.


Conferment is the ceremony for those doctors who have completed their doctoral studies during the past academic year, completed all of their courses, defended their doctoral thesis at the University and submitted an application to receive their degree certificate.

The Swedish word ‘promovera’ comes from the Latin ‘promovere’ and means ‘moving forward’. The conferment ceremony symbolises a scientific journey or transfer. Traditionally, it refers to the transportation of knowledge over the mountain Parnassos in Greek mythology.

In the ceremony, the journey is symbolized by the doctor moving past the lectern, which in promotion context is called parnass, and gives the symbolic right to teach. 

The conferment of the faculty's doctoral graduates is carried out by a conferrer. The conferrer is a professor who has previously been conferred and is appointed by the respective faculty.


The hat, laurel wreath and the ring are the objects and symbolic attributes that are provided during the conferment ceremony. The doctor also receives a diploma, a certificate which was previously the written proof of the conferment, and had to be carried with when for example visiting other universities. Today the diploma lives on as a memory of the academic celebration.  

Below you can read more about the insignia or watch the video that describes our traditions during the annual celebration.

Professorial inauguration

Individuals who have been appointed as professor are inaugurated and welcomed to their new role by representatives of the University. The Vice-Chancellor performs the inauguration of new professors.

Jubilee doctor

On occasion, the University is given the privilege to honour a jubilee doctor. It is a title earned by individuals who received their doctoral degrees 50 years earlier. During the ceremony, the jubilee doctor is awarded a diploma.

At the Annual Academic Ceremony 2019, the University’s first Vice-Chancellor Per-Olof Glantz was awarded the title Jubilee doctor.

Peace metal in Vice-Chancellor’s chain and doctoral rings

Malmö University is the first university in the world to use 'peace metal' in doctoral rings, Vice-Chancellor's chain and dean chains. Humanium Metal is produced by the non-profit organisation Individual Human Help (IM) and is made of recycled metal from collected and stored weapons from Guatemala and El Salvador.

By using Humanium Metal for doctoral rings, we show that we want to contribute to a peaceful and inclusive society. It is entirely in line with Malmö University's aim for a more equal, open and sustainable society

Vice-Chancellor Kerstin Tham

Learn more about Humanium Metal

Honorary doctors

Honorary doctors who are promoted are often academics at other universities, but just as often they have achieved excellence outside the world of academia. Their dedication and deeds have promoted scientific research and they are therefore individuals the University wants to reward.

The University faculties appoint honorary doctors. An honorary doctorate is an award and an expression of the faculty’s appreciation of outstanding efforts in one of the faculty’s research fields.

Honorary doctors 2023

Faculty of Education and Society 

  • Beth Campbell
  • Luke Eric Lassiter

News item: Faculty of Education and Society's honorary doctors 2023

Faculty of Health and Society

  • Anders Frid
  • Anneli Larsson

News item: Faculty of Health and Society's honorary doctors 2023

Faculty of Technology and Society

  • Sunil Maharaj
  • Sarah Pink

News item: Faculty of Technology's honorary doctors 2023

Honorary doctors 2022

Honorary doctors 2021

Honorary doctor of 2020

  • Pascal Lefèvre, professor, comics historian and theorist

Honorary doctors of 2019

  • Sara Ahmed, Faculty of Culture and Society
  • Elisabet Nihlfors and Göran Levin, Faculty of Education and Society

Honorary doctors of 2018

  • Bridget Anderson, professor of Migration, Mobilities and Citizenship at University of Bristol, Bristol, UK
  • Erik Swyngedouw, professor of human geography at University of Manchester, Manchester, UK
  • Kerstin Larsson, former manager of Resurscentrum för mångfaldens skola
  • Patrik Sjöberg, high jumper and children's rights activist
  • Else-Maj Rosenlöf, Head nurse at Skåne University Hospital
  • Göran Therborn, professor emeritus of sociology
  • Ambra Michelloti, professor and researcher in jaw muscle physiology
  • Hampus Jakobsson, leading investor in technology and a heavyweight on the start up-scene
  • Michel Godefroid, professor and leading atomic physicist

Honorary doctors of 2017

  • Richard Ohrbach, professor and Head of research at Center for TMD and Facial Pain, Departement of Oral Diagnostic Sciences, School of Dental Medicine, University at Buffalo, Buffalo, US
  • Kent Andersson, Chairperson of Malmö City Council
  • Lena Dominelli, professor at the School of Applied Social Sciences at Durham University, Durham, UK
  • Ingemar Lundström, professor emeritus at the Department of Physics, Chemistry and Biology at Linköping University
  • Magnus Gertten, documentary filmmaker and a depicter of Malmö
  • Christopher (Kit) Kelen, artist, teacher, poet and researcher, Macau
  • Fredrik Gertten, filmmaker and producer, Malmö

Honorary doctors of 2016

  • Liv Strömquist, comics creator and artist, Malmö
  • Kerstin Martinsdotter, archivist, Malmö
  • Sven-Olof Isacsson, professor emeritus at the Faculty of Medicine at Lund University och Skåne University Hospital in Malmö
  • David Richards, professor of Mental Health Services Research at University of Exeter, Exeter, UK
  • John Storan, professor, University of East London, London, UK
  • Mats Ulfendahl, former Secretary General of the Swedish Research Council
  • Jenö Kisch, Senior dental officer
  • Barbro Westerholm, member of parliament, medical doctor and former director-general of the National Board of Health and Welfare, honorary doctor of odontology

Honorary doctors of 2015

  • Susanna Alakoski, author, columnist and playwright
  • Ilmar Reepalu, former Chair of the Executive Committee of Malmö City
  • Sanna Vestin, chairperson of The Swedish Network of Refugee Support Groups (Flyktinggruppernas Riksråd, FARR)
  • Jan Thavenius, professor emeritus of literary studies at Lund University, Lund, Sweden
  • Kari Fasting, professor of sports sociology and social psychology at Norwegian school of sport sciences, Oslo, Norway
  • Dan Olofsson, entrepreneur and  Malmö-based business owner
  • Charlotte Froese Fischer, Canadian-American professor emeritus of computer science and applied mathematics at Vanderbilt University, Nashville, US

Honorary doctors of 2014

  • Sir Anthony Bottoms, professor, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK
  • Bob Jessop, professor, Lancaster University, Lancaster, UK
  • Per Svensson, journalist and author
  • Ulf Lindén, dentist
  • Nina Rehnqvist-Ahlberg, professor
  • Måns Rosén, professor

Honorary doctors of 2013

  • Alison Kitson, professor at University of Adelaide, Adelaide, Australien
  • Rainer Bauböck, professor at the European University Institute
  • Tania Ruiz Gutiérrez, video artist
  • Gertrud Pfister, professor, honorary doctor of Sport Sciences
  • Gudrun Malmer, mathematics didactics teacher, honorary doctor of education science
  • Peter Svensson, professor at the Department of Odontology at Aarhus University, Aarhus, Denmark

Honorary doctors of 2012

  • Sir Michael Marmot, professor, University College London, London, UK
  • Nina Glick Schiller, professor, University of Manchester, Manchester, UK
  • Tomas Hammar, professor, Stockholm University, Stockholm, Sweden
  • Göte Rudvall, previously senior lecturer at the Faculty of Education and Society, Malmö, Sweden
  • John Clarkson, professor, Trinity College, Dublin, Irland
  • Mogens Killian , professor, Aarhus University, Aarhus, Denmark
  • Grayson W, Marshall, professor, University of California, San Francisco, US

Honorary doctors of 2011

  • Lucy Suchman, professor
  • Bertil Eklund, chairperson of the board at TePe Munhygienprodukter AB

Honorary doctors of 2010

  • Björn Fries, public official that from 2002 to 2007 was national coordinator of the committee National Drug Policy Coordinator (Mobilisering mot narkotika)

Honorary doctors of 2009

  • Stina Gestrelius

Honorary doctors of 2008

  • Keith Horner
  • Lars H Gustafsson, paediatrician

Honorary doctor of 2007

  • Kåre Larsson

Honorary doctors of 2006

  • Samuel F. Dworkin
  • Gunnar Bergenholtz

Honorary doctor of 2005

  • Tore Dérand

Honorary doctor of 2004

  • Malcolm L. Jones

Honorary doctors of 2003

  • Eva Falk Nilsson
  • Maria Wierzbicka

Honorary doctor of 2002

  • Nobody appointed

Honorary doctors of 2001

  • George Brown
  • Michael Heners

Honorary doctor of 2000

  • Robert Yemm

Honorary doctors of 1999

  • Jaap J. Ten Bosch
  • Takashi Kumagai
  • Kåre Larsson
  • Lars-Erik Lövdén (Minister of Municipal Affairs and member of the Social Democratic Party)
  • Bertil Persson