The University of Helsinki (Helsingin yliopisto, Helsingfors universitet) is a university located in Helsinki, Finland since 1829, but founded in the city of Turku 1640 as The Royal Academy of Turku. It is the oldest and largest university in Finland with the widest range of disciplines available. Around 38,000 students (including 5,500 post-graduate students) are currently enrolled in the degree programs of the university.
Since August 1, 2005 the University complies with the standards of the Europe-wide Bologna Process and offers Bachelor's, Master's, Licenciate's and Doctoral degrees.
The university is a member of the LERU, Unica (Universities in the Capitals of Europe), Utrecht Network and the Europaeum and places heavy emphasis on high-quality research.
- For the early history (1640-1809), see the main article Royal Academy of Turku
The university was founded in 1640 by Count Per Brahe
, as the Royal Academy of Turku
(Regia Academia Aboensis). It was the third university
founded in the Swedish Empire
, following Uppsala University
and the Academia Gustaviana
, the predecessor of the University of Tartu
In 1809, Finland became an autonomous grand duchy in subjugation to imperial Russia, wherefore the name of the academy in Turku was modified to be Imperial Academy of Turku. Following the great city fire of Turku in 1827 and the move of the capital of the Grand Duchy of Finland, under Russian rule since 1809, to Helsinki, the university was relocated there starting from 1829 and Nicholas I re-named it Imperial Alexander University of Finland in honor of his late brother and predecessor Tsar Alexander I of Russia, who had given new resources to the academy. This university was the practical center of Finnish culture in 19th century, and a remarkable cradle of nationalist movements, liberalization demands, political parties, collections of cultural materials, and student activities. It was named the University of Helsinki after Finland became independent in 1917.
The main building of the university, which was designed by Carl Ludvig Engel, was completed in 1832. It is located next to the Senate Square in the heart of Helsinki's neoclassical centre, facing the Cathedral and the Government's Palace. Most of the important buildings in the City Centre Campus, such as the University Library, the Observatory and several faculty buildings, are also designed by Engel.
The university is located on four main campuses. Originally, the entire university was located in the very centre of Helsinki, but due to the rapid growth of the university since the 1930s, premises have been built and acquired in other areas.
The historical City Centre Campus has been the hub of activity ever since the university moved from Turku to Helsinki in the early 19th Century. The campus has a central location and reflects the architectural style of this part of the city. The university buildings in the city center house the Faculties of Theology, Law, Arts, Behavioural Sciences and Social Sciences plus administrative functions. Most of the buildings on the campus have a major architectural significance.
The Kumpula Campus, housing the Faculty of Science, is located four kilometers from the centre of Helsinki.
The Meilahti Campus, with the Faculty of Medicine, is a part of the Meilahti Hospital District on the outskirts of the city centre.
The Viikki Campus is located in a semi-rural area of Viikki, some 8 kilometres north-east of the city centre. It houses the Faculties of Agriculture and Forestry, Biosciences, Veterinary Medicine and Pharmacy.
The university is divided into eleven faculties. They are listed below in the official order used by the university, reflecting both the history of the university and the hierarchy of disciplines at the time when the university was established:
- Faculty of Theology (established 1640)
- Faculty of Law (established 1640)
- Faculty of Medicine (established 1640)
- Faculty of Arts (Faculty of Philosophy established 1640 and split 1852, independent Arts section 1863, independent faculty 1992)
- Faculty of Science (Faculty of Philosophy established 1640 and split 1852, independent Science section 1863, independent faculty 1992)
- Faculty of Pharmacy (Faculty of Philosophy established 1640, split from the Faculty of Science 2004)
- Faculty of Biosciences (Faculty of Philosophy established 1640, split from the Faculty of Science2004)
- Faculty of Behavioral Sciences (independent section 1974, independent faculty 1992, reorganized and renamed 2004)
- Faculty of Social Sciences (established 1945)
- Faculty of Agriculture and Forestry (established 1898, independent faculty 1924)
- Faculty of Veterinary Medicine (established as an independent college in 1945, incorporated into the University of Helsinki in 1995)
The university also comprises several independent institutes, such as research centres and libraries, the most notable of which is perhaps the National Library of Finland.
Research institutes within the university include the following:
Notable People and Alumni
- Lars Ahlfors (1907–1996), mathematician, one of two first to be awarded the Fields Medal in 1936
- Anders Chydenius (1729–1803), priest, economist, politician
- Anders Donner (1854–1938), astronomer
- Ragnar Granit (1900–1991) Nobel Laureate (Medicine, 1967)
- Hugo Gyldén (1841–1896), astronomer
- Tarja Halonen, lawyer (LL.M.), the current President of Finland, since 2000.
- Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo, CEO of Nokia as of June 2006 (LL.M.)
- Urho Kaleva Kekkonen, President of Finland
- [[Sam Järvi@Lake]], Max Payne game series developer
- Björn Kurtén (1924–1988), palaeontologist
- Jarl Lindeberg (1876–1932), mathematician
- Ernst Lindelöf (1870–1946), mathematician
- Jyrki Pekka Emil Linnankivi, Vocalist "The 69 Eyes"
- Elias Lönnrot (1802–1884), collector of Kalevala
- Rolf Nevanlinna (1895–1980), mathematician
- Adolf Erik Nordenskiöld (1832–1901), geologist, Arctic explorer
- Jorma Ollila (b. 1950), Chairman of Nokia and Royal Dutch Shell (M.Pol.Sci.)
- Juho Kusti Paasikivi, President of Finland
- Lauri Kristian Relander, President of Finland
- Risto Ryti, President of Finland
- Esa Saarinen (b. 1953), philosopher
- Jean Sibelius (1865–1957), composer, pursued studies at Faculty of Law
- Frans Emil Sillanpää (1888–1964), Nobel Laureate (Literature, 1939)
- Kaarlo Juho Ståhlberg, the first President of Finland
- Karl Fritiof Sundman (1873–1949), astronomer
- Pehr Evind Svinhufvud, President of Finland
- Zacharias Topelius (1818–1898), writer and historian
- Linus Torvalds, (b. 1969), software engineer and developer of Linux
- Artturi Ilmari Virtanen (1895–1973), Nobel Laureate (Chemistry, 1945)
- Jussi V. Koivisto, economist and educator (M.A.)
- Bror-Erik Wallenius (b. 1943), sports commentator
- Mika Waltari (1908–1979), novelist
- Georg Henrik von Wright (1916–2003), philosopher, the President of the Academy of Finland