University of Turku

From Academic Kids

The University of Turku, located in Turku in southwestern Finland, is the second largest university in the country as measured by student enrolment. It was established in 1920. The university is a member of the Coimbra Group.



The history of the establishment of Turku University is very special. When Finland gained independence in 1917, there was only one university, the University of Helsinki (transferred from Turku to Helsinki in 1828, the university was previously known as Academy of Åbo), which functioned mainly in Swedish. The Finnish intelligentsia therefore wished to set up a university which would operate through the medium of Finnish. A nationwide fund-raising campaign was organized, to which altogether 22 040 donors contributed, mainly very ordinary people - artisans, farmers, shopkeepers and teachers.

To honour the memory of these donors, the University has named its specially created liqueur "22 040". This liqueur has been developed by the University´s own food chemists, and also does homage to some of the distinctive fruits of the Finnish landscape: the cloudberry, the rowan and the sea buckthorn.

There are probably not many universities in the world with their own gold treasure. At the end of the 1940s, the University of Turku received a major bequest from the Johnsson/Joutsen brothers, sons of a smith in the village of Nummenmäki (nowadays incorporated into the Turku city), who had made their fortunes on the Klondike gold field in the Yukon in Canada. The brothers had no heirs, and Karl Fredrik Joutsen bequeathed to the University all his property, including real estate and a gold claim.

By this time the University was outgrowing its original premises, in the Phoenix building on the Market Square. The bequest made it possible to start construction in the 1950s of a new campus on Russian Hill (Ryssänmäki - now known as the University Hill), and on of the first buildings was the new Library. In the sixties the University started to expand rapidly, a process that still continues. The University was made a public institution in 1974.


The University has approximately 18 000 students, of which 5000 are Ph.D. students. The largest faculties are the Faculty of Humanities and the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences.


There are six faculties:

  • Humanities
  • Mathematics and Natural Science
  • Medicine
  • Law
  • Social Science
  • Education

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

  • The Main Library
  • Language Centre
  • Centre for Environmental Research
  • Centre for Extension Studies
  • Centre for Maritime Studies
  • Functional Foods Forum
  • Tuorla Observatory
  • Turku Centre for Biotechnology
  • Turku PET Centre
  • Turku Centre for Computer Science

Campus area

The University of Turku shares a campus with Åbo Akademi University, Turku School of Economics and Business Administration, and elements of Turku Science Park. The area also encompasses the University Hospital 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 area is constantly expanding. University has also occupied some old 19th century Russian garrison buildings located near the hill. Latest additions include Educarium, which houses the Faculty of Education, and Publicum, which houses the Faculty of Social Sciences.



External Links

Coimbra Group
(of European research universities)
Coimbra Group
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es:Universidad de Turku

fi:Turun yliopisto he:אוניברסיטת טורקו


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