University of Helsinki

University of Helsinki

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 in Turku, 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 in Dorpat, the predecessor of the University of Tartu in Estonia.

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:

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

Research institutes within the university include the following:

Notable People and Alumni

See also

External links

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