Vision for Umeå University

The University Board approved the Umeå University Vision on 3 April 2019. This vision is the result of a project that took its start in spring 2018 and in which students and all members of faculty and staff were invited to participate. The vision charts our way forward, describes where Umeå University aspires to be in the future.

Illustration by Eva Helena Larsson, a local Umeå artist and illustrator.


This is Umeå University

Umeå University is a higher education institution that conducts research and provides education in a wide range of fields. The activities are governed by academic core values and the basic values of the Swedish state sector. Umeå University is characterised by tradition and stability, as well as change and innovation. Our unified campus encourages academic meetings, an exchange of ideas and interdisciplinary co-operation. The cohesive environment enables a strong sense of community and a dynamic and open culture in which we rejoice in the success of others. We call it the Umeå University spirit.

Students and employees at Umeå University enrich the wider society. The university facilitates growth and provides the northern region, Sweden and the world with a well-educated workforce. Our ground-breaking research makes us world-leading in several scientific disciplines, and generates results that lead to innovations and applications that benefit society. This makes Umeå University an attractive collaborative partner.

As a knowledge-driven organisation, we are characterised by a genuine desire to develop, seek answers, pose new questions and strengthen our position in the scientific community. To meet the changing demands and expectations of society, and lead the transformation towards a sustainable society are among the most crucial tasks for us as a university.

Umeå University in the future

Responsibility for the future

Northern Sweden, Sápmi and the Arctic region are undergoing massive changes regarding culture, climate, health and living conditions. The geographical position of Umeå University provides us with unique opportunities to contribute new knowledge of global importance, inspired and propelled by the Sustainable Development Goals in the 2030 Agenda. Our wide range of activities and our tradition of border-crossing collaboration constitute distinct advantages in this respect. The university invests in creative and innovative environments that can take on urgent challenges to secure a sustainable future. Through science-based knowledge, commitment and an ethical approach, we contribute to a society that is well equipped to meet current and future challenges. Umeå University takes responsibility for the future and is a role model among European universities.

Umeå University attracts a diverse range of students who enrich the academic environment with a variety of experiences and perspectives. Here, students gain the knowledge and preparedness to initiate development and transformation, and in line with the Umeå University spirit distinguish themselves in their future endeavours. Umeå University offers flexible educational options that meet the needs of a variable working life where lifelong learning is a necessity.

Collaborative development of knowledge

Umeå University consistently furthers the advancement of science and education. Students, faculty and staff in all fields jointly generate new ideas and new knowledge. Security, trust and confidence inspire motivation and courage, and the risk-taking that is necessary for knowledge breakthroughs. Research strengthens education. Education strengthens research. It is natural to always offer education in areas where we conduct top-quality research.

Umeå University collaborates closely with strategically selected partner universities around the world. We have several deep and long-term relationships with businesses and public sectors. Outreach and collaboration take place where the activities strengthen our own knowledge development at the same time as they provide added value for our partners. By combining our own and the region's strengths, challenges and needs, we continue to develop northern Sweden as a knowledge region.

Competitive edge and pride

Umeå University meets the increased demands of competitiveness brought on by globalisation. We have a strong position in Sweden and globally. The university has supportive systems and services that promote cutting-edge education, research and innovation. Successful faculty and staff, and motivated students choose Umeå University because of the creative academic environment, high quality of education and first-class infrastructure we offer. Collective efforts to ensure a sustainable working life create a positive environment and makes the university an attractive employer where good leadership on all levels encourages employees to grow. The university is characterised by an inclusive culture where equality, diversity and equal opportunities are self-evident.

Together, faculty, staff, students and alumni create the identity and ensure the visibility of Umeå University. We compete successfully for external funding, are sought-after, and participate in national and international forums. Umeå University employees have strong networks and are influential in external bodies where strategic topics are discussed and decisions are made. Increased autonomy gives us the resourcefulness to make long-term and strategic priorities. We do so with forethought and boldness.
Students, faculty, staff and collaborative partners realise the vision of Umeå University by ensuring that what we do tomorrow is even better than what we do today.

Illustration by Eva Helena Larsson, a local Umeå artist and illustrator.



Download the vision in pdf format:

Vision for Umeå University in English

Vision för Umeå universitet in Swedish

Order a Printed copy

The Vision for Umeå University is available in a joint Swedish and English brochure. Order the brochure from the Communications Office through

Anna Lawrence