The University of Helsinki is a university located in Helsinki, Finland. It is the 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.
The university is a member of the League of European Research Universities and the Europaeum and places heavy emphasis on high-quality research.
The university main building
The university was founded in 1640 by Count Per Brahe in Åbo (Turku), as the Academy of Åbo, but in 1827 it was relocated following the move of the capital to Helsinki. It was the third university founded in Sweden, following Uppsala University and the Academia Gustaviana, today the University of Tartu in Estonia.
The main building of the university, which was designed by C.L. Engel, was completed in 1832. It is located next to the Senate Square in the heart of Helsinki's Empire-style centre.
The university is located on four main campi, even though the term "campus" is strictly speaking somewhat inaccurate, as none of the campi have student accommodation. Originally, the entire university was located in the very centre of Helsinki, but premises have been built and acquired in other areas since the 1930s.
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. What sets this campus apart from most other university campi in the world is its central location and the seamless way in which it segues into the rest 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 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 in the suburbs of Helsinki and houses the Faculties of Agriculture and Forestry, Biosciences and Pharmacy.
The university is divided into eleven faculties. They are listed below in the official order that is used by the university, reflecting both the history of the university and the hierarchy of disciplines at the time when the university was established:
It also comprises several independent institutes, such as research centres and libraries.
Research institutes within the university include the following:
- Adolf Erik Nordenskiöld (1832-1901), geologist, arctic explorer
- Hugo Gyldén (1841-1896), astronomer
- Anders Donner (1854-1938), astronomer
- Karl Fritiof Sundman (1873-1949), astronomer
- Mika Waltari (1908-1979), novelist
- Esa Saarinen (b. 1953), philosopher
- Tarja Halonen, Lawyer, President of Finland since 2000.
- Linus Torvalds, (b. 1969), software engineer (M.Sc. 1996)
- Ernst Lindelöf (1870-1946), mathematician
- Rolf Nevanlinna (1895-1980), mathematician
- Lars Ahlfors (1907-1996), mathematician, one of two first to be awarded the Fields Medal in 1936
- Björn Kurtén (1924-1988), palaeontologist