University of Turku
The University of Turku (Finnish
Finnish language
Finnish is the language spoken by the majority of the population in Finland Primarily for use by restaurant menus and by ethnic Finns outside Finland. It is one of the two official languages of Finland and an official minority language in Sweden. In Sweden, both standard Finnish and Meänkieli, a...

 Turun yliopisto, Swedish
Finland Swedish is a general term for the closely related cluster of dialects of Swedish spoken in Finland by Swedish-speaking Finns as their mother tongue...

 Åbo universitet), located in Turku
Turku is a city situated on the southwest coast of Finland at the mouth of the Aura River. It is located in the region of Finland Proper. It is believed that Turku came into existence during the end of the 13th century which makes it the oldest city in Finland...

 in southwestern
Finland Proper
Finland Proper or Southwest Finland , is a region in south-western Finland. It borders the regions of Satakunta, Tavastia Proper, Ahvenanmaa and Uusimaa.- Municipalities :...

Finland , officially the Republic of Finland, is a Nordic country situated in the Fennoscandian region of Northern Europe. It is bordered by Sweden in the west, Norway in the north and Russia in the east, while Estonia lies to its south across the Gulf of Finland.Around 5.4 million people reside...

, is the second largest university
A university is an institution of higher education and research, which grants academic degrees in a variety of subjects. A university is an organisation that provides both undergraduate education and postgraduate education...

 in the country as measured by student enrollment, after University of Helsinki
University of Helsinki
The University of Helsinki is a university located in Helsinki, Finland since 1829, but was founded in the city of Turku in 1640 as The Royal Academy of Turku, at that time part of the Swedish Empire. It is the oldest and largest university in Finland with the widest range of disciplines available...

. It was established in 1920 and also has faculties at Rauma
Rauma, Finland
Rauma is a town and municipality of ca. inhabitants on the west coast of Finland, north of Turku, and south of Pori. Granted town privileges on May 17, 1442 , Rauma is known of its high quality lace , and of the old wooden architecture of its centre , which is a Unesco world heritage...

, Pori
Pori is a city and municipality on the west coast of Finland. The city is located some from the Gulf of Bothnia, on the estuary of the Kokemäenjoki river, which is the largest in Finland. Pori is the most important town in the Satakunta region....

 and Salo
Salo, Finland
Salo is a town and municipality of Finland.It is located in the province of Western Finland and is part of the Finland Proper region. The municipality has a population of and covers an area of of which is water. The population density is ....

. The university is a member of the Coimbra Group
Coimbra Group
The Coimbra Group is a network of 40 European universities, some among the oldest and most prestigious in Europe. It was founded in 1985 and formally constituted by charter in 1987....


The Royal Academy of Turku

The first university to be established in Turku was The Royal Academy of Turku
The Royal Academy of Turku
The Royal Academy of Turku was the first university in Finland, and the only university in present-day Finland to be founded when it was still a part of Sweden. In 1809, after Finland became a Grand Duchy under the suzerainty of the Russian Tzar, it was renamed the Imperial Academy of Turku...

, in 1640, which was transferred to the new Capital, Helsinki
Helsinki is the capital and largest city in Finland. It is in the region of Uusimaa, located in southern Finland, on the shore of the Gulf of Finland, an arm of the Baltic Sea. The population of the city of Helsinki is , making it by far the most populous municipality in Finland. Helsinki is...

, after the Great Fire of Turku
Great Fire of Turku
The Great Fire of Turku was a conflagration that is still the largest urban fire in the history of Finland and the Nordic countries. The fires started burning on 4 September 1827 in Burgher Hellman’s house on Aninkaistenmäki slightly before 9 p.m...

 in 1827.

Three famous Finns began their studies in Turku in 1822. These were Johan Vilhelm Snellman
Johan Vilhelm Snellman
Johan Vilhelm Snellman was an influential Fennoman philosopher and Finnish statesman, ennobled in 1866.Snellman was born in Stockholm, Sweden, as son of Kristian Henrik Snellman, a ship's captain...

, Elias Lönnrot
Elias Lönnrot
Elias Lönnrot was a Finnish philologist and collector of traditional Finnish oral poetry. He is best known for compiling the Kalevala, the Finnish national epic compiled from national folklore.-Education and early life:...

, and Johan Ludvig Runeberg
Johan Ludvig Runeberg
Johan Ludvig Runeberg was a Finnish poet, and is the national poet of Finland. He wrote in the Swedish language....

 who have a statue on University Hill. Another reminder of the Royal Academy is the Old Academy Building
Old Academy Building
The Old Academy Building is a neoclassical building, originally consecrated in 1817 for the Royal Academy of Turku in Turku, Finland. It is located in Cathedral Square next to Turku Cathedral...

 near the University's campus.

The University of Turku

The modern University of Turku was founded in 1920. The Finnish intelligentsia wanted a purely Finnish
Finnish language
Finnish is the language spoken by the majority of the population in Finland Primarily for use by restaurant menus and by ethnic Finns outside Finland. It is one of the two official languages of Finland and an official minority language in Sweden. In Sweden, both standard Finnish and Meänkieli, a...

 university, the first of its kind in Finland. 22,040 people contributed to the fund-raising campaign. Newly gained independence and the campaign are reflected in the motto of the University about a free people's gift to free science. To honour the memory of these donors, the University has named its specially created liqueur
A liqueur is an alcoholic beverage that has been flavored with fruit, herbs, nuts, spices, flowers, or cream and bottled with added sugar. Liqueurs are typically quite sweet; they are usually not aged for long but may have resting periods during their production to allow flavors to marry.The...

 "22 040". Developed by the University's own food chemists, the liqueur does homage to some of the distinctive fruits of the Finnish landscape: the cloudberry
Rubus chamaemorus is a rhizomatous herb native to alpine and arctic tundra and boreal forest, producing amber-colored edible fruit similar to the raspberry or blackberry...

, the rowan
The rowans or mountain-ashes are shrubs or small trees in genus Sorbus of family Rosaceae. They are native throughout the cool temperate regions of the Northern Hemisphere, with the highest species diversity in the mountains of western China and the Himalaya, where numerous apomictic microspecies...

 and the sea buckthorn.

The first premises of the University of Turku were in the centre of the city, by the market square. In the 1950s a new campus was built on Ryssänmäki (Russian Hill – now known as University Hill). In the 1960s the University started to expand rapidly, a process that still continues.

The University was made a public institution in 1974.

Since 1995 the University of Turku has been a member of Coimbra Group
Coimbra Group
The Coimbra Group is a network of 40 European universities, some among the oldest and most prestigious in Europe. It was founded in 1985 and formally constituted by charter in 1987....


In January 2010, Turku School of Economics
Turku School of Economics
Turku School of Economics is a faculty of the University of Turku located in Turku, Finland. It was established as an independent higher education business school in 1950, until it was acquired by the state in 1977...

 merged with the University of Turku, forming a seventh faculty of the university.


The University has approximately 18,000 students, of which 5,000 are postgraduate students having completed their MSc or MA. The largest faculties are the Faculty of Humanities and the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences.


The university is governed by three bodies, the Board of Directors
Board of directors
A board of directors is a body of elected or appointed members who jointly oversee the activities of a company or organization. Other names include board of governors, board of managers, board of regents, board of trustees, and board of visitors...

, The Rector
The word rector has a number of different meanings; it is widely used to refer to an academic, religious or political administrator...

 and the Chancellor
Chancellor is the title of various official positions in the governments of many nations. The original chancellors were the Cancellarii of Roman courts of justice—ushers who sat at the cancelli or lattice work screens of a basilica or law court, which separated the judge and counsel from the...


The Board is the highest decision-making organ of the University and is made up of 19 individuals both from academia, politics and studentship. It develops the University's operating processes and approves plans concerning its financing and activities; it decide on the guidelines of granting appropriations; it give its opinion in any matters of significance that concern the University in principle and the Board approves the service regulations and other similar rules.

The Rector directs the activities and processes of the University and solves any issues concerning its general management. The Rector represents the University and uses the University's right to speak in courts of law and in dealings with the authorities. Prof Keijo Virtanen is currently the elected Rector.

The Chancellor, appointed by the President of Finland
President of Finland
The President of the Republic of Finland is the nation's head of state. Under the Finnish constitution, executive power is vested in the President and the government, with the President possessing extensive powers. The President is elected directly by the people of Finland for a term of six years....

 upon proposal of the Finnish Government, shall promote science and scholarship, look after the general interests of the University and supervise its activities. The Chancellor confirms the standing orders and other corresponding general regulations of the University. The most visible task of the Chancellor is the appointment of the Professors and the Docents of the University. Professor Pekka Puska currently holds this position.

The university is divided into seven faculties. Some of the departments are listed under the faculty header.
  • Faculty of Humanities
    • School of History, Cultural Research and Art Studies
    • School of Languages and Translation Studies
  • Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences
    • Department of Biochemistry and Food Chemistry
    • Department of Biology
    • Department of Chemistry
    • Department of Geography and Geology
    • Department of Information Technology
    • Department of Mathematics
    • Department of Physics
  • Faculty of Medicine
    • Institute of Biomedicine
    • Institute of Microbiology and Pathology
    • Institute of Clinical Medicine
    • Institute of Dentistry
    • Department of Nursing Science
    • BioCity
    • Turku Biomaterials Centre
    • Centre for Biotechnology
    • The Research Centre for Applied and Preventive Cardiovascular Medicine (CAPC)
    • Terbio - Health Biosciences
  • Faculty of Law
  • Faculty of Social Sciences
    • Department of Behavioural Sciences and Philosophy
    • Department of Political Science and Contemporary History
    • Department of Social Research
  • Faculty of Education
    • Department of Education
    • Department of Teacher Education Turku
    • Department of Teacher Education Rauma
    • Teacher training school in Turku
    • Teacher training school in Rauma
    • Educational Technology Unit
  • Turku School of Economics
    Turku School of Economics
    Turku School of Economics is a faculty of the University of Turku located in Turku, Finland. It was established as an independent higher education business school in 1950, until it was acquired by the state in 1977...

The university also has number of special units not affiliated with the faculties:
  • The Main Library
  • Language Centre
  • Centre for Environmental Research
  • Centre for Extension Studies
  • Centre for Maritime Studies
  • Functional Foods Forum
  • Tuorla Observatory
    Tuorla Observatory
    Tuorla Observatory is the Department of Astronomy at the University of Turku, southwest Finland. Currently it is the largest astronomical research institute in Finland...

  • Turku Centre for Biotechnology
  • Turku PET Centre
  • Turku Centre for Computer Science
    Turku Centre for Computer Science
    Turku Centre for Computer Science is a joint department of University of Turku and Åbo Akademi University. TUCS was founded on March 21, 1994 by the aforementioned two universities, and Turku School of Economics, which then was a university of its own...

  • Business and Innovation Development

In addition to being a destination for international exchange, the University also has several English-language Master’s degree programmes and one Finnish-language Master's degree programme for international degree students:
  • Asian Studies
  • Baltic Sea Region Studies
  • Bioinformatics
  • Biomedical Imaging
  • Embedded Computing
  • Environmental Sciences
  • European Heritage, Digital Media and the Information Society
  • Futures Studies
  • Global Information Technology Management
  • Global Innovation Management
  • Information Technology
  • Institutions and Social Mechanisms
  • Learning, Learning Environments and Educational Systems
  • Management of Information Technology
  • Physical Sciences, Astronomy Track
  • Suomen ja sen sukukielten maisteriohjelma (Finnish and Other Finno-Ugric Languages)

Campus area

The University of Turku shares a campus with Åbo Akademi University
Åbo Akademi University
Åbo Akademi University is a Swedish language university in Turku, Finland . , there are 7 941 students and a staff consisting of 1125 people. The university has activities not only in Turku, but also in Vaasa, Jakobstad, Helsinki and on Åland...

 and elements of Turku Science Park
Turku Science Park
Turku Science Park is a community of businesses and educational establishments in the city of Turku, Finland. It focuses on development of the biotechnology and IT industries in southwestern Finland through cooperation of the different factors in the field. Its membership includes approximately 300...

. The area also encompasses Turku University Hospital (TYKS)
Turku University Hospital is a hospital in Turku, Finland.-General information:The hospital serves as the central hospital for southwestern Finland. It is located near the city centre of Turku and the university, and has branches in the nearby towns of Raisio and Paimio...

 and the Student Village
Turku Student Village
Turku Student Village is the largest single student housing complex in Finland. It houses nearly 3,500 residents in 95 three-storied tenements. The Student Village is located in the district of Nummi near the city centre of Turku...

. The Administration Building and the surrounding complex was built in the fifties on what became to be known as the University Hill. The campus is constantly expanding. The university has also acquired some former military barracks
Military of the Grand Duchy of Finland
Between 1809 and 1917 Finland was an autonomous part of the Russian Empire as the Grand Duchy of Finland. Between 1881 and 1901 the Grand Duchy had its own army. Before that several other military units had also been formed....

 built in the 19th century. The latest additions include Educarium, which houses the Faculty of Education, Publicum, which houses the Faculty of Social Sciences and the newly completed ICT
ICT (education)
Information and communication technologies in education deal with the use of information and communication technologies within educational technology.-Purpose:...

 building which houses the Computer Science Faculties.


University of Turku has been involved in many research projects in the Peruvian Amazon
Peruvian Amazon
The Peruvian Amazon is the area of the Amazon jungle included in the territory of Peru, from the east of the Andes to borders with Ecuador, Colombia, Brazil and Bolivia. This region comprises 60% of the country and is marked by a large degree of biodiversity...

. With the Peruvian Amazon Research Institute (Instituto de Investigaciones de la Amazonía Peruana - IIAP), based in Iquitos
Iquitos is the largest city in the Peruvian rainforest, with a population of 370,962. It is the capital of Loreto Region and Maynas Province.Located on the Amazon River, it is only above sea level, although it is more than from the mouth of the Amazon at Belém on the Atlantic Ocean...

, has been studiyng the Amazon in the BIODAMAZ Project.

Famous alumni

  • Sauli Niinistö
    Sauli Niinistö
    Sauli Väinämö Niinistö is a Finnish politician from National Coalition Party. He is also President of the Football Association of Finland. A lawyer by training, he was Minister of Finance from 1996 to 2003 and the National Coalition Party candidate in the 2006 presidential election...

     - Former Speaker of the Parliament, presidential candidate
  • Liisa Hyssälä
    Liisa Hyssälä
    Liisa Marja Hyssälä is a Finnish politician of the Centre Party. She has been a delegate to the Parliament of Finland since 1995 and Minister of Social Affairs and Health of Finland since 2003 until 2010.- References :...

     - Minister of Health and Social Services
  • Mauno Koivisto
    Mauno Koivisto
    Mauno Henrik Koivisto is a Finnish politician who served as the ninth President of Finland from 1982 to 1994. He also served as Prime Minister 1968–1970 and 1979–1982...

     - Former President of Finland
  • Paula Lehtomäki
    Paula Lehtomäki
    Paula Lehtomäki is a Finnish politician. She started her political career in 1996, when she was elected to the Kuhmo Town Council. In 1999 she was elected to the Finnish Parliament, and again in 2003. In 2002, she was elected to be the vice chairman of Keskusta...

     - Minister for Foreign Trade and Development
  • Timo Airaksinen
    Timo Airaksinen
    Timo Airaksinen is Professor of Moral Philosophy, and head of department, at the Department of Social and Moral Philosophy at Helsinki University. By longstanding tradition in the University of Helsinki, the philosophy faculty is divided into two major areas, the practical and the theoretical...

  • Jarmo Viinanen - Secretary General of the Presidential Office
  • Heli Laaksonen - Popular poet
    Poetry is a form of literary art in which language is used for its aesthetic and evocative qualities in addition to, or in lieu of, its apparent meaning...

     writing in her native dialect

External links

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