Odense University

A gilded crowbar, presented for Rector Aage Trommer at the annual gala in Odense university, 1973. This crowbar is now at Møntergården in Odense. Photo: Ole Lund Jensen.


In 1966, Odense University opened with 180 students enrolled. Today, the University has merged with Odense Polytechnic College (est. 1905) – changing its name to University of Southern Denmark, currently with 26,000 students enrolled.

In the world of books Denmark’s first book was printed in Odense in 1482. It then became possible to disseminate knowledge and information on a previously unseen scale and at an unprecedented rate. The printed book still plays an important role in our education system, but its use has developed from the rote learning of the grammar schools to the responsibility for learning placed on the individual. The Funen resident, Christian Kold, who was an activist in the free school movement, was instrumental in sparking this development. Institutions of higher education Until the 19th century, young people had to leave Funen if they wanted to continue their studies after upper secondary school. But from 1905, it was possible to train as a mechanical engineer at the polytechnic, Odense Teknikum, and, in 1966, Odense University opened with 180 students. Of these, 60 chose to read medicine and the rest studied subjects within the humanities. Today, these two institutions have been amalgamated, forming part of the University of Southern Denmark with 26,000 students. Student revolt! During student revolts of 1973, students of Odense University barricaded rector Åge Trommer’s office. The rector was unconcerned and came in through the window, instead. At the next annual galla, the chairman of the student council, Per Madsen, presented the rector with a gilded crowbar (see picture on the intro tab) as a light-hearted comment on the episode.

This location is part of the exhibition 'Funen – at the centre of the universe', at Møntergården in Odense. Read more about the exhibition on our website.