) are regional corporations of students
at university, once widespread across
central and northern Europe in medieval times
, they are now largely
restricted to the two ancient universities of Sweden. The students,
who were all born within the same region, usually spoke the same
language, and expected to be ruled by their own familiar law.
similar comparison in the Anglo-world to the nation system is in
collegiate system of older British universities or fraternities at American
universities; however, both of these comparisons are
Paris there were the French,
Normans, Picards, and
the English, and later the Alemannian nation. Jean Gerson
was twice elected procurator for the
(i.e. the French-born students at the
University) in 1383
, while studying theology
at Paris. Also at Paris, Germanic speakers were grouped into a
also smaller subdivisions, even cities, like Natio
Misnensium for students from Meissen at the
Leipzig, established in 1409, where
other nationes were those of the Saxonum, Bavarorum, and Polonorum. A similar division of students had
been adopted at the Charles
University in Prague, where from its opening in 1347 the studium
generale was divided among Bohemian, Bavarian, Saxon, and
When there was not a "natio" of a
given nationality, students were choose another nation. In Italy,
Poles were customary signed into "northern" or "German" nations,
sometimes even when a Polish natio existed in a given university.
Copernicus, who was from a region of the Kingdom of Poland, in 1496 enrolled into
the natio germanorum (German natio), a priveleged
university organization that included German-speaking students from
many regions of Europe.
exist in some of the ancient
universities in Scotland, although
their significance has largely been forgotten.
St Andrews, in common with continental universities at the
time of its founding, was divided into nations each presided over
by a Procurator.
The four nations were originally
Albania, Angusia, Laudonia
approximately North West, North East, South East and South West
Scotland. Later, the original Albania was renamed Fifa, while
Britannia became Albania and included the Western Isles and all
places outside of Scotland.
The four nations each chose an “intrant”, who in turn chose the
At that time the duties of Rector were similar to those of the
Principal of the university
today. In case of a tie, the
decision was left to the outgoing Lord Rector.
The use of the nations system for rectorial elections was
discontinued after the national establishment of elected Rectors
under the Universities
Glasgow the use of nations continued until 1977 for the
election of the university's Lord Rector.
University has four nations, originally called
Thevidaliae (Teviotdale), Albaniae (Albany) and Rosay (Rothesay), and later as Glottiana,
Loudoniana, Transforthana and
Respectively, their heraldic symbols
are: a two headed bird over crossed tools, an anchor over crossed
tools, a horn over crossed tools and a sailing ship over crossed
Three of the 'nations' consisted of defined areas in Scotland, with
Loudoniana consisting of students from all other places. The
heraldic symbols of the nations can be seen in the stonework of a
number of university buildings, including the Glasgow University Union
chapel, under the Latin title of the university.
The University of Aberdeen
also had a system of nations. Following the Universities Act 1858
use of nations to elect the Lord Rector
via the election of Procurators, similar to the system used at the
University of Glasgow, with the Chancellor having deciding vote in
case of a tie.
the 1858 Act, Glasgow and Marischal College, one of Aberdeen's predecessor universities, were
alone in making provision via the nations for election of a
Swedish universities of Uppsala and Lund, a system of student nations
(nationer) remains, according to which each student at the
university must enroll in a nation.
These are named on
regional lines, where the nations in Lund take their names from
provinces and areas in southern Sweden, and those in Uppsala take
their names from all over Sweden, except for the Scanian lands
, the traditional catchment area
for Lund, which was founded in 1666 to provide higher education for
the youth in the newly-conquered areas. (There is a "Skånelandens
nation" in Uppsala, but it has no activity, and only exists as a
for those students who
do not wish to take part in the activities of the other
Traditionally, students were required to be members of the nations
whose area one came from, but with one exception
(Södermanland-Nerikes nation at Uppsala), this requirement is now
voided. The nations are in charge of the kinds of social activities
which are at other universities normally handled by the student
unions, such as bars, clubs, theatre companies, orchestras, sports
societies, and also some housing.