University of Turku

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University of Turku
Turun yliopisto
File:University of Turku.svg
Latin: Universitas Aboensis
Motto Vapaan kansan lahja vapaalle tieteelle
(Gift from a free nation to liberal sciences)
Established 1920
Type Public University
Rector Kalervo Väänänen
Administrative staff
Students 20,090[1]
Undergraduates 15 080
Postgraduates 1 991
Location Turku, Finland
Campus Urban
Affiliations Coimbra Group, UArctic

The University of Turku (in Finnish Turun yliopisto, in Swedish Åbo universitet, shortened in UTU), located in Turku in southwestern Finland (EU), is the second largest university in the country as measured by student enrollment, after University of Helsinki. It was established in 1920 and also has faculties at Rauma, Pori and Salo. The university is a member of the Coimbra Group.


The Royal Academy of Turku

The first university to be established in Turku was The Royal Academy of Turku, in 1640, which was transferred to the new Capital, Helsinki, after the Great Fire of Turku in 1827.

Three famous Finns began their studies in Turku in 1822. These were Johan Vilhelm Snellman, Elias Lönnrot, and Johan Ludvig Runeberg who have a statue on University Hill. Another reminder of the Royal Academy is the Old Academy Building near the University's campus.

The University of Turku

The grand opening of the University of Turku in 1922. On the left is Artturi H. Virkkunen, the first rector of the university

The modern University of Turku was founded in 1920. The Finnish intelligentsia wanted a purely Finnish 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 "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, the rowan 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[2] – 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.

In January 2010, Turku School of Economics merged with the University of Turku, forming a seventh faculty of the university.[3]


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.


Natural Science Building I (left) and Main Building (right)
ICT Building
Department of History
Turku School of Economics

The university is governed by three bodies, the Board of Directors, The Rector and the Chancellor.

The Board is the highest decision-making organ of the University and is made up of 19 individuals[4] 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 Kalervo Väänänen is currently the elected Rector.

The Chancellor, appointed by the President of Finland 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

The university also has number of special units not affiliated with the faculties:

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:[5]

  • 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 and elements of Turku Science Park. The area also encompasses Turku University Hospital (TYKS) and the Student Village. 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 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 building which houses the Computer Science Faculties.


University of Turku has been involved in many research projects in the Peruvian Amazon. With the Peruvian Amazon Research Institute (Instituto de Investigaciones de la Amazonía Peruana - IIAP), based in Iquitos, has been studying the Amazon in the BIODAMAZ Project.

Famous alumni


See also


  1. "404". Retrieved 31 May 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. Juslenius, Daniel (1700). Aboa vetus et nova. Suomalaisen Kirjallisuuden Seura. p. 185. ISBN 978-951-746-743-8.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. "404". Retrieved 31 May 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. "404". Retrieved 31 May 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. "Build your future career with us". Retrieved 31 May 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links

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