Stockholm School of Economics
The Stockholm School of Economics is an academic hub for ambitious students and researchers from all over the world. By working closely with corporate partners and society at large, SSE has been creating opportunities for its graduates for over 100 years.
A unique business school
We are one of Europe's leading business schools, with a unique business-community network. Our research is internationally recognized and many of our researchers are among the leading figures in their respective fields.
The Stockholm School of Economics opened its doors to its first students 110 years ago, in 1909.
Sweden needs a business school
The decades around the turn of the nineteenth century were years of rapid industrial expansion in Sweden, which in turn led to a need for trained managers and staff. Leading figures within the Swedish industry and commerce recognized that such individuals would require specialized education in business practices and theories. These industry leaders (K.A. Wallenberg, Olof A. Söderberg, and Joseph Nachmanson among others) rallied the businessmen and executives of Stockholm, and in 1906 they formed the Stockholm School of Economics Association, an organization with the sole purpose of making the dream of a Swedish business school a reality.
Three years later (in 1909), thanks to the support of the City of Stockholm, government funding and donations from private endowments, the Stockholm School of Economics opened its doors for the first time. Admitting 110 students, the initial curriculum ran for two years and covered economics, commerce, and a combination of political sciences and law.
Decades of growth
The Stockholm School of Economics started its journey at Brunkebergstorg in central Stockholm, situated in a commercial building known as Brunkebergs hotel. Leasing the entire third floor of the hotel, teaching continued at the premises for nearly two decades. In time, however, SSE outgrew these premises and commissioned Swedish architect Ivar Tengbom with designing the new facilities. In 1926, the School inaugurated these new quarters located at Sveavägen 65, the address of our main building to this day. Generous donations over the years have given SSE the opportunity to expand on Tengbom’s design, and the original construction is flanked by newer buildings, and several additional premises are located nearby.
The following decades were an exciting period of growth for SSE. In 1929, only a few years after the move to Sveavägen, the School founded its first research institute. Aptly named the Economic Research Institute, it was founded with the mission of conducting leading research within the fields of economics and commerce. Other institutes would soon follow, including IFL (Institutet för Företagsledning). Originally only partly affiliated with SSE, IFL provided education programs in business, management, and leadership. Following their success, IFL would ultimately become associated solely with the School.
Internationalization and innovation
Following the success on a national level, there was an ambition to establish SSE as a leading business school on a global scale. In 1991 the School joined CEMS, the Global Alliance in Management Education, a symbol of quality within the world of management education. Just a few years later, in 1999, SSE secured the EQUIS accreditation, further proving that all programs and research have demonstrated excellence at an international level.
2007 saw a significant change for universities across all of Europe following the Bologna Process agreement, a unified standard of quality and comparability across all of Europe. SSE’s program structure was replaced by the Bachelor and Master programs we are accustomed to today. One year following this shift, SSE expanded the program portfolio by taking over a retail-focused program from Detaljhögskolan I Norrtälje. Renamed the BSc Program in Retail Management, the program is entirely funded by the retail industry, making it unique in the Swedish academic landscape.
While greater internationalization was (and remains) a major focus for the School, so is innovation. The SSE Business Lab, a start-up incubator linking promising student and alumni start-ups with industry experts, was launched already in 2001. Supporting an idea from conception to implementation, the SSE Business Lab has helped launch a wide range of successful companies through the years.
The first century and beyond
A year of celebrating an accomplished past and a promising future, 2009 marked the 100th anniversary for SSE. With expectations set high, the following decade would continue to push the School toward new heights. In 2011, SSE engaged in a joint venture with Institute for Financial Research. The result was the Swedish House of Finance, a national research center with the goal to strengthen financial research in Sweden.
2015 was an incredibly eventful year for SSE and saw the launch of multiple exciting projects. MISUM (Mistra Center for Sustainable Markets), a cross-disciplinary research center focused on finding sustainable business solutions, was launched in order to educate and prepare students for managing some of our time's most pressing challenges. One of their ventures, the Global Challenges Track, represents the School’s effort to incorporate that sustainability mindset into the traditional curriculum.
Continuing this eventful year, it also brought the launch of the SSE Art Initiative. Reflecting the School’s belief that art can help us improve critical thinking and self-reflection, the SSE Art Initiative acknowledges art as a legitimate knowledge base, with the potential to make both SSE and society at large more knowledge-intensive.
These last few years have been equally lively, with some particularly exciting changes to the BSc Program in Retail Management. As of 2015, the program left its old campus in Norrtälje to join the main SSE Campus in Stockholm, finally unifying all the programs under one roof. Just three years later, the BSc Program in Retail Management took another exciting step, becoming the first program to be taught fully in English. Finally, SSE’s most recent achievement is the launch of a new research house, the House of Innovation. This interdisciplinary research and education environment focuses on innovation, entrepreneurship, and digitalization, and will strive to push the boundaries of modern research.
Mission and Vision
The activities of the Stockholm School of Economics rest upon a clear mission and vision.
Strengthen Sweden’s Competitiveness Through Research and Science-Based Education.
A World-Class International Business School Based in Sweden.
Educational Mission - FREE
SSE’s overarching educational aims take as their point of departure that a successful decision-maker of the future will approach the world with curiosity and confidence and who, as the philosopher, Ingemar Hedenius said: “is free and alive in relation to the unknown”. That decision-maker may well be outperformed cognitively by artificial intelligence, robots, or machines. But the core competence of humans is to be human, and SSE’s educational aims take this ad notam. A successful decision-maker in the future will maximize the potential of being human. Hence, SSE has formulated its overarching educational aims through the acronym FREE. It stands for:
- Fact and Science-based Mindset
We are fundamentally a scientific institution, and facts are the basis for all critical and analytical thinking. An SSE graduate will make decisions based on facts and have the ability to differentiate between types of knowledge. This ability becomes particularly important in a world of alternative facts, "fake news" and filter bubbles.
- Reflective and Self Aware
The future will require more reflection and self-knowledge. SSE-trained individuals will be able to contemplate what role they play in the world, understand the impact they have on others, evaluate their personal preferences, and be aware of how their choices are determined.
- Empathetic and Culturally Literate
Empathy and cultural sensitivity are so far, something that artificial intelligence cannot accomplish. We are convinced that an empathetic person becomes a better leader and decision-maker; thus we hope our students will be able to consider the perspective of others fully. Cultural literacy is also critical. To interact with someone from another background, expertise, or profession other than one's own is a prerequisite for the future.
- Entrepreneurial and Responsible
Students who graduated from SSE will have an entrepreneurial and creative approach to the world. They will strive to create change in a responsible manner. They should not accept the status quo but seek improvement for society and the world at large.
SSE accredited by EQUIS
Since 1999, SSE has been accredited by the European Quality Improvement System (EQUIS), which means that all activities – all programs and research – have demonstrated excellence at an international level.
EQUIS is an international system for quality assurance of higher education in business, aiming to raise the standard of management education worldwide. EQUIS is governed by the European Foundation for Management Development (EFMD), which is an independent not-for-profit network organization open to companies as well as universities. The Stockholm School of Economics was one of the founders of EFMD.
An EQUIS accreditation applies to an entire school, not only individual programs. Around 100 different quality indicators are reviewed in the EQUIS accreditation process. One such indicator, which weighs heavily in accreditation decisions, is internationalization -- specifically, how far the school has advanced in the process of internationalization. Other important factors are an extensive collaboration with the business world, outstanding research activities, and being at the forefront within the areas of ethics, responsibility, and sustainability.
Because EQUIS accreditation is an internationally recognized and respected seal of quality, our objective is for the Stockholm School of Economics to become even more attractive to students, postdoctoral researchers, and faculty through this accreditation. Accreditation involves a business school's operations being periodically scrutinized in a systematic manner, so EQUIS is also a vital tool for the Stockholm School of Economics’ ongoing quality-control efforts.