Data and facts

1431 - 1448 During the Council of Basil, a council and curia university – an institution directly tied to the papal curia and serving the educational needs of the clergy, theologians, and other attendees of the council – is established.
1459 12 November: Pope Pius II issues the Founding Charter for the University of Basel in Mantua.
1460 4 April: opening ceremony of the university with a religious service in the Basel Cathedral
1460 28 May: the Basel City Council issues the Letter of Freedoms for the university.
1460 6 September: the university commits not to abuse the privileges granted by the city.
1477 Complete revision of the statutes
1494 - 1507 The university faces a crisis lasting several years; reform discussions in 1507 lead to a financial readjustment of the city’s contribution.
1523 The City Council withdraws the salaries of four professors because of their attacks on supporters of the Reformation and appoints Oekolampad and Pellikan as professors of theology.
1529 Due to the introduction of the Reformation, many instructors and professors move to Freiburg im Breisgau.
1529 June: the reformed council suspends the university and confiscates the university’s scepter, seals, statute books, charters of privileges, and cash assets.
1529 - 1532 Interregnum: a number of professors continue to teach.
1531 Rector Oswald Bär conducts the first public anatomical dissection in Basel.
1532 September: with the issuance of new statutes, the university is placed under the City Council’s control.
1532 November: reopening of the reformed university
1533 The City Council establishes a scholarship for poor boys funded by church and school property.
1538 The Erasmus Foundation is established to support needy students.
1539 By revising the university’s statutes, the City Council restores and extends the university’s rights of self-governance and, in particular, integrates the clergy of the Faculty of Theology.
16th c. After 1550: the university becomes a fashionable destination for men studying to become doctors and lawyers, with international appeal.
1558 Book censorship is transferred by the City Council to the university’s rector and four deans.
1560 The library is newly set up in the Brabeuterium.
1579 A financial scandal, caused by the professor of medicine Isaak Keller, is uncovered at the university.
1588 An anatomical theater and a “hortus medicus” (later, a botanical garden) are established.
1590 Substantial expansion of the university library through the integration of 2,700 books from former monastery libraries
1637 The city physician Matthias Harscher is suspended as professor of eloquence for marrying a Catholic and subsequently reinstated in the same position in 1641.
1659 As part of reforms in university teaching, the first chair for history is established, and the teaching of logic is reorganized.
1660 4 April: on the bicentenary of its founding, the university celebrates a university anniversary for the first time.
1661 Basel buys the Amerbach cabinet on behalf of the university, thus laying the foundation for the city’s first public museum.
1671 The decades-long dispute over university privileges and jurisdiction ends with the introduction of a new loyalty oath for academic citizens vis-à-vis the City Council.
1681 Course catalog begins to be published regularly.
1688 The election of professors by ballot (secret election with balls) becomes law.
1718 Introduction of lots in professorial elections
1757 Isaak Iselin writes the Reformation treatise "Unprejudiced Thoughts on the Improvement of the B… Institution of Higher Learning" after discussions on university reform were held throughout the century without producing any significant, conclusive results.
1760 15 April: the university celebrates its third centennial.
1798 The university is placed under the authority of the city’s Education Council.
1813 The Grand Council abolishes the previous statutes and privileges and decides on a thorough reorganization.
1818 17 June: with the new University Act, the university loses its last privileges and becomes entirely subordinated to state authority.
1822 Publication of the course catalog in Latin ceases, replaced by German.
1833 The division of assets necessitated by the cantonal separation threatens the university’s existence.
1835 9 April: new University Act
1835 Founding of the Voluntary Academic Society for the Support of the University
1835 1 October: inauguration of the reestablished university
1836 Founding of the Academic Guild as the sixteenth guild
1851 The Grand Council rejects a proposal to abolish the university in favor of a trade school.
1860 6 and 7 September: the university celebrates the 400th anniversary.
1866 330 January: new University Act (increase in the number of professorships and salary)
1872 Admission of women to study is refused.
1890 Women allowed to study at the university. Emilie Frey begins studying medicine, leading to a doctorate in 1896.
1910 23–25 June: the university celebrates its 450th anniversary.
1918 Founding of the student body as an official representative body
1919 Founding of the Volkshochschule, an institution affiliated with the university and dedicated to educating adults from the general population
1928 First habilitation of a woman (a second thesis with the right and obligation to teach at the university): Elsa Mahler becomes a private lecturer in Slavic studies. In 1964, her successor Hildegard Schroeder becomes the first woman to hold a full professorship.
1937 14 January: new University Act creates fifty-one statutory professorships. In addition to the four existing faculties, a new Faculty of Humanities and Natural Sciences is established.
1939 New Lecture building opened
1950 The chemist Tadeus Reichstein receives the Nobel Prize.
1960 29 June–2 August: the university celebrates its 500th anniversary.
1966 Introduction of a lump sum college fee
1967 Beginning of debate on a revision of the University Act of 1937
1969 After the rejection of the reunification of the two half-cantons (Basel-Stadt and Basel-Land), new forms of joint sponsorship and funding for the university must be found.
1970 A coordination commission is created to improve operational planning.
1971 The Senate (previously a body composed entirely of full professors) is expanded to include representation of all groups (the new composition: twenty-four members representing full professors; three groups of eight members representing associate professors, private lecturers, and assistants; twelve members representing students; and one member from the university administration).
1971 Inauguration of the Biocenter/Center for Molacular Life Sciences
1974 Abolition of mandatory membership in the student body
1974 Legal basis for admission restrictions (numerus clausus)
1976 13 June: referendum in the canton of Basel-Land, a majority votes to participate in the university.
1978 Microbiologist Werner Arber receives the Nobel Prize.
1979 Opening of the Senior University.
1980 17 April: draft for a new University Act fails to win a majority in the Grand Council after eight years of committee deliberation (the vote was 29 to 29, with the tie-breaking vote cast by the president of the Grand Council).
1984 Abolition of irrevocable contracts for university lecturers
1988 The Senate establishes the “Women at the University” commission; subsequently, targets for minimum quotas are formulated.
1989 Founding member of the European Confederation of Upper Rhine Universities (EUCOR).
1991 Hayek structural analysis as a precondition for further participation of the canton of Basel-Land in the sponsorship of the university, introduction of departmental structures within the university.
1993 Mission statement of the University of Basel, founding of the Association for the Promotion of the University of Basel
1994 30 March: renewal of agreement regarding the university between the cantons of Basel-City and Basel-Land
1996 1 January: new University Act enters into force. University is divorced from the cantonal administration; introduction of autonomy, with new support from Basel-Land.
1997 Founding of the Faculty of Business and Economics
2000 Opening of the Pharmaceutical Center
2000 The Bologna system of study, adopted in 1999 within the framework of the EU, begins to be implemented step by step. In the winter semester 2006/07, the University of Basel becomes the first comprehensive university in Switzerland to implement the reform.
2003 Founding of the Faculty of Psychology
2003 Portfolio cost-saving exercise
2004 Founding of the Children’s University
2007 11 March: in a referendum, the canton of Basel-Land agrees to equal university sponsorship.
2010 The university celebrates its 550th anniversary with a year-round program.