kids encyclopedia robot

Karolinska Institutet facts for kids

Kids Encyclopedia Facts
Quick facts for kids
Karolinska Institute
Karolinska Institutet
Karolinska Institutet seal.svg
Former names
Kongl. Carolinska Medico Chirurgiska Institutet
Motto Att förbättra människors hälsa (Swedish)
Motto in English
To improve human health
Type Public
Established 1810 (1810)
Endowment 576,1 million EUR (2010)
Budget SEK 6.67 billion
Rector Ole Petter Ottersen
Administrative staff
4,820 (2016)
Students 5,973 (FTE, 2016)
2,267 (2016)
Location , ,
59°20′56″N 18°01′36″E / 59.34889°N 18.02667°E / 59.34889; 18.02667
Campus Solna (Main) and Flemingsberg
Colors      KI Plum

The Karolinska Institute, sometimes known as the (Royal) Caroline Institute in english is a research-led medical university in Solna within the Stockholm urban area of Sweden. It covers areas such as biochemistry, genetics, pharmacology, pathology, anatomy, physiology and medical microbiology, among others. It is recognised as Sweden's best university and one of the largest, most prestigious medical universities in the world. It is the highest ranked in all Scandinavia. The Nobel Assembly at the Karolinska Institute awards the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine.

The Karolinska Institute is Sweden's third oldest medical school. It is one of Sweden's largest centres for training and research, accounting for 30% of the medical training and more than 40% of all academic medical and life science research conducted in Sweden. The Karolinska University Hospital, is associated with the university as a research and teaching hospital. Together they form an academic health science centre. While most of the medical programs are taught in Swedish, the bulk of the Ph.D. projects are conducted in English. The institute's name is a reference to the Caroleans.


The Karolinska Institute was founded by King Karl XIII on 13 December 1810 as an "academy for the training of skilled army surgeons" after one in three soldiers wounded in the Finnish War against Russia died in field hospitals. Just one year later, in 1811, the Karolinska Institute was granted license to train not only surgeons but medical practitioners in general.

Karolinska Institutet Science Park
Karolinska Institute Science Park

In 1861 the institute reached a significant milestone in being awarded the right to confer its own degrees; as such it was granted a status equal to that of a university. This, in turn, led to an increase in the size of the student body, necessitating the demolition of the old building on the Glasbruk plot and its replacement with a new, larger one. This new institute building was built in stages, mostly during the 1880s and into the first decade of the 20th century; it stands to this day, and has remained largely unchanged since its opening.

The next decade was one of firsts. By 1880 the Karolinska Institute had started to accept women and so it was in 1884 that Karolina Widerström became the first woman to obtain a bachelor's degree in medicine from the institute; she later went on to obtain a Licentiate degree in medicine and chose to specialise in women's medicine. Anna Stecksén later became the first woman to obtain a doctorate from the university.

Gården Stenbrottet 2012a
The Stenbrottet farm with Karolinska Institute's new aula in the background

Just five years later, following the death of Alfred Nobel in 1895, the Karolinska Institute received the right to select the recipient of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine. Since then, this assignment has given the Karolinska Institute a broad contact network in the field of medical science. Indeed, over the years, five of the institute's own researchers have been awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine.

The year 1997 marked a major point in the history of the Karolinska Institute as it was finally granted official university status with a stated mission to "contribute to the improvement of human health through research, education and information". This newly acquired status later led to the incorporation of the Stockholm University of Health Sciences into KI, as a result of which seven new study programmes in occupational therapy, audionomy, midwifery, biomedical laboratory science, nursing, radiology nursing and dental hygiene, were added to the teaching portfolio.

The year 2010 marked yet another significant event in the history of the KI as the institute celebrated its 200th anniversary under the patronage of King Carl XVI Gustaf.

Nobel Prize winners

  • 1955 Hugo Theorell becomes KI's first Nobel Laureate, receiving the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for his discoveries concerning the nature and mode of action of oxidation enzymes.
  • 1967 Ragnar Granit receives the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for his contributions to the analysis of retinal function and how optical nerve cells respond to light stimuli, colour and frequency.
  • 1970 Ulf von Euler receives the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for his contributions for discoveries concerning the the nerve terminals and the mechanism for their storage, release and inactivation.
  • 1982 Sune Bergström and Bengt Samuelsson jointly receive the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for their discoveries concerning prostaglandins and related biologically active substances.
  • 1981 Torsten Wiesel and David H. Hubel jointly receive the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for their discoveries concerning information processing in the visual system.


Karolinska institutet aula
Karolinska institute

The Karolinska Institute offers the widest range of medical education under one roof in Sweden. Several of the programmes include clinical training or other training within the healthcare system. The close proximity of the Karolinska University Hospital and other teaching hospitals in the Stockholm area thus plays an important role during the education. Approximately 6,000 full-time students are taking educational and single subject courses at Bachelor and Master levels at the Karolinska Institute. Annually, 20 upper high school students from all over Sweden get selected to attend Karolinska's 7-week long biomedical summer research school.


  • Biosciences and Nutrition
  • Cell and Molecular Biology
  • Clinical Neuroscience
  • Clinical Science and Education, Söder Hospital
  • Clinical Science, Danderyd Hospital
  • Clinical Sciences, Intervention and Technology
  • Dental Medicine
  • Environmental Medicine
  • Laboratory Medicine
  • Learning, Informatics, Management and Ethics
  • Medical Biochemistry and Biophysics
  • Medical Epidemiology and Biostatistics
  • Medicine, Huddinge
  • Medicine, Solna
  • Microbiology, Tumour and Cell Biology
  • Molecular Medicine and Surgery
  • Neurobiology, Care Sciences and Society
  • Neuroscience
  • Oncology-Pathology
  • Physiology and Pharmacology
  • Public Health Sciences
  • Woman and Child Health

As of 2018, Times Higher Education ranks the Karolinska Institute at number 38 overall in the world. In the field of Clinical Medicine and Pharmacy, it is ranked twelfth worldwide and third in Europe for 2016. According to the 2018 Times Higher Education World University Rankings, the Karolinska Institute is ranked 15th worldwide. Karolinska Institute is ranked in the category of Life Sciences and Medicine, placing it as the best in Sweden, 3rd in Europe and 6th worldwide in 2017. In 2015, the QS ranked the Department of Dental Medicine 1st in the world. The university was a founding member of the League of European Research Universities.

Notable alumni or faculty

Images for kids

Women's History Month on Kiddle
Women Scientists of Antiquity
Mary the Jewess
kids search engine
Karolinska Institutet Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.