One running theme in academic circles is that you are always going to have late students no matter what. One of the “solutions” to remedy this is the academic quarter. This is a tradition found at most universities around the world, but most popular in Europe, where lectures will start 15 minutes after the official time written on the schedule. This gives students time to park, find their classroom, and do other things prior to class. It’s a beloved tradition that will likely not go away anytime soon.
In Lund, the love for this tradition went so far that the students actually put down a plaque to mark the meridian of the academic quarter. The plaque reads:
“The meridian of the academic quarter, 1 hour and 15 minutes from local Greenwich time. Placed by the Uarda Academy on April 29, 1996.”
This is one of several such gag plaques placed by Uarda Academy, who is a student-run theater group that is dedicated to preserving academic student culture.
Knowing that one might ask, is the plaque in the right place? Is it really GMT+1:15 hours? No, it is actually off by about 23 minutes or 500 kilometers, perhaps as a joke on timeliness. Either way, a competing sign is hung up in the correct location in the Stockholm Archipelago.
Know Before You Go
The meridian is in front of the fountain that is in turn in front of the main university building. Look for it in the grass.