University of Turku

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Group.png University of Turku  
University of Turku.png
MottoVapaan kansan lahja vapaalle tieteelle
(Gift from a free nation to liberal sciences)
HeadquartersTurku, Finland
TypePublic University
Finnish-speaking university

The University of Turku (Turun yliopisto, shortened UTU), located in Turku in southwestern Finland, is the third largest university in the country as measured by student enrollment, after the University of Helsinki and Tampere University. It was established in 1920 and also has facilities at Rauma, Pori, Kevo 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 Template:Interlanguage link multi, 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 Russian Hill[1] – 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.[2]

Since 1995 the University of Turku has been a member of the Coimbra Group.

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


The University has approximately 20,000 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 Science and Technology.

Famous alumni


Alumni on Wikispooks

Sauli Niinistö24 August 1948FinlandPolitician
Martin Scheinin4 November 1954FinlandAcademic


  1. Juslenius, Daniel (1700). Aboa vetus et nova. Suomalaisen Kirjallisuuden Seura. p. 185
  2. History of the University of Turku