The History of Ceremonial Conferments in Turku


  • Topi Artukka
  • Mari Ratia


The history of ceremonial conferments organised by European universities goes back to the Middle Ages, as bachelors were conferred as masters in Paris and Bologna already in the 13th century. From the European universities, the tradition of conferring academic degrees spread to Sweden, where the ceremony was first organised at the Uppsala University in 1600 and at the Royal Academy of Turku in 1643. At that time, Finland and Turku were part of the Swedish kingdom and the Royal Academy of Turku, founded in 1640, was the first university in Finland. This university was situated in Turku until the great fire of 1827, after which the university was moved to Helsinki, the new capital of Finland. Ceremonial conferments have been an important celebration for the community, as not only does the ceremony confer scholars as part of the academic community, but it also builds internal hierarchy and symbolism.

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Artukka, T., & Ratia, M. (2023). The History of Ceremonial Conferments in Turku. AURAICA. Scripta a Societate Porthan edita, (13), 42–49.