About the Academic Ceremony

At the annual Academic Ceremony at the University of Borås, both professorial inauguration and doctoral degree conferment take place. During the ceremony, Docent/Associate Professor appointments are also celebrated and the Pedagogical Prize is awarded. The ceremony is held in Swedish.

On one side of the stage sit the professors, doctors, and honorary doctors who are to be recognised during the celebration. The university's Vice-Chancellor, Pro-Vice-Chancellor, the Chairs of the university's two boards, and this year's degree conferrer are seated in the first row. These people will all be wearing academic regalia as a symbol of their roles at the institution.

Vice-Chancellor’s insignia

The Vice-Chancellor's insignia, in the form of a mantle and a chain around the neck, show his role as the university's spokesperson and chief advocate. On the inside of the mantle are printed mottos from all our Vice-Chancellors since the mantle was first produced in 1996. The chain was produced at the same time and the symbols seen on it represent the institutions of the time (one symbol was added at a later stage). Between the symbols, joined with silver rings, are silver plates adorned with rock crystals and clear blue stars.

The gowns worn by the Pro-Vice-Chancellor, the degree conferrer and the Chairs of the university's two boards were produced in 2022 by Majli af Ekenstam, who teaches design at the Swedish School of Textiles. The design features elements from a classic blazer and kimono. The dark blue, light woollen fabric is material recovered from the production of other garments.

Professorial inauguration

Professorial inaugurations have occurred in Sweden since the beginning of the 17th century. New professors are welcomed to the institution and installed in their positions by the Vice-Chancellor. The University of Borås has arranged professor inaugurations since 2000. During the ceremony, the professors are awarded a diploma as a symbol of their new position. Tradition also calls for the new professors to each hold an inaugural lecture, open to everyone, in close connection with the ceremony.

Doctoral conferment ceremony

The first documented such conferment in Sweden was held in Uppsala in 1600. The University of Borås performed its first such ceremony in 2014.
The University of Borås confers doctoral degrees in the four areas in which the university has degree-awarding powers at the doctoral level. It is optional to participate in the conferment ceremony.

The conferment act begins when the degree conferrer putting on a crown before giving the promovendi (new doctors) their insignia. At the University of Borås, the two boards jointly appoint a degree conferrer (Promotor).

During the ceremony, the new doctors are awarded the insignia of learning as external signs of their accomplishments: wreath or hat, diploma, and ring. The doctors are then guided across a small podium called the Parnassus by the degree conferrer.

The Parnassus is intended to symbolise Mount Parnassos in Greece, the peaks of which were consecrated to Apollo and Dionysus. According to myth, prominent artists, writers and philosophers spent time on the slopes of Parnassos. According to the original traditions of doctoral conferment ceremonies, newly minted doctors were eligible to teach at the university after passing the Parnassus.

Doctor's Insignia



Historically, the hat symbolises freedom and power. In ancient Rome, only free men were allowed to wear hats. The doctor's hat, which is handmade, is now always black with a badge mounted on the front with the symbol of the respective university/Faculty. At the University of Borås, a common hat badge is used for the entire university.

Laurel wreath

Historically, laurel wreaths were used by the Romans in triumphal processions and awarded as symbols of victory at the Olympic Games. Laurel was also a reward at the early universities in Paris and Bologna, among others. It has also been a symbol of poets as well as a symbol of permanence and immortality. Laurel was believed to have medicinal healing powers. Only those with a Degree of Doctor of Philosophy have the right to wear a laurel wreath (however, they have the right to wear a hat after the ceremony).


The diploma used to be the official degree certificate, but today is only a symbol. All doctorate recipients who participate in the ceremony receive an individual diploma in a unique roll during the ceremony as a gift from the university.


The doctor's ring is worn on the left hand and is made of gold. It symbolises marriage with science. Its design is specific to different universities and Faculties, but bay and oak leaves are common features.