University of Tartu
|Latin: Universitas Tartuensis|
Academia Gustaviana, |
University of Dorpat/Yuryev,
Tartu State University
|Established||1632 (closed 1710–1802)|
58°22′52″N 26°43′13″E / 58.38111°N 26.72028°E
|Campus||Urban (University town)|
The University of Tartu (UT; Estonian: Tartu Ülikool, Latin: Universitas Tartuensis) is a classical university in the city of Tartu, Estonia. It is the national university of Estonia. The University of Tartu is the only classical university in the country and also the biggest and most prestigious university in Estonia. It was established by King Gustavus Adolphus of Sweden in 1632.
There are nearly 14,000 students at the university, of which over 1,300 are foreign students. The language of instruction in most curricula is Estonian, but there are some more notable exceptions that are taught in English, such as Semiotics, Applied Measurement Science, Computer Science, Information Technology Law and European Union – Russia Studies.
The QS World University Rankings ranked the University of Tartu 347th in the world in 2016, and the top-ranked university in the Baltics. The university is also ranked 4th in the Emerging Europe and Central Asia region. The Times Higher Education World University Rankings placed it in the 301–350 range among world universities. It is the only university in the Baltic countries to place among the top 200 universities in Europe. UT belongs to top 1% of world's most cited universities in 10 research areas.
The historical buildings of the university are included in the European Heritage Label list as "embodiment of the ideas of a university in the Age of Enlightenment".
The Academia Gustaviana in the then Swedish province of Livonia was the second university founded in the Swedish Empire, following Uppsala University (in Uppsala, Sweden proper) and preceding the Academy of Åbo (in Turku, Finland). A precursor to the academy had been a Jesuit grammar school Gymnasium Dorpatense, founded by Stefan Batory (then king of Poland–Lithuania) in 1583 and existing to 1601, when Tartu (Dorpat) was under Polish–Lithuanian rule.
The first students immatriculated between 20–21 April 1632. The opening ceremony of Academia Dorpatensis (Academia Gustaviana) took place on 15 October in the same year. The academy in Tartu functioned with Philosophy, Law, Theology and Medical Faculties enjoying the privileges of the University of Uppsala. On account of the Russian–Swedish war, the University of Tartu moved to Tallinn in 1656 and in 1665 it closed down. In the 17th century the future outstanding Swedish scholars Urban Hiärne, Olof Verelius, Arvid Moller and others studied at the university. Among the academic staff were Friedrich Menius, Professor of History (the history of Livonia, the first scientific approach to Estonian folklore) and Georg Mancelius, Professor of Theology (author of the first Latvian-German dictionary in 1638).
With the reestablishment of the university in 1690 as the Academia Gustavo-Carolina, Tartu became a university town again. Academic staff of the new university included Sven Dimberg, Professor of Mathematics (the first in the world to deliver lectures based on Newton's theory), Olaus Hermelin, Professor of Rhetoric and Poetry, Lars Micrander, Professor of Medicine (founder of balneology, and discoverer of natural mineral water springs) and Michael Dau, Professor of Philosopy as well as Professor of Rhetoric and Poetry. Just under a decade after being reconstituted, as a result of the coalition against Sweden (Russia, Denmark-Norway and Saxony-Poland-Lithuania) and the Great Famine of 1695–1697, the university moved from Tartu to Pärnu. Eventually, Academia Gustavo-Carolina, which had opened in Pärnu on 28 August 1699, was closed as a result of the surrender of Pärnu to Russian forces on 12 August 1710 during the Great Northern War. According to the terms of the capitulation, the Russians agreed to maintain the university in Pärnu. However, the university was only reopened in 1802 by the Baltic German Ritterschaften, when the new German speaking University was re-launched and had its new charter confirmed by the reform-minded Tsar Alexander I of Russia.
The university was re-opened by the Baltic Germans in Estonia in April 1802. The language of instruction at Dorpat was German from 1802 to 1893. During that time, Dorpat had a dual nature in that it belonged both to the set of German(-language) and Russian universities. Financially and administratively, the latter was more important; intellectually and regarding the professoriate and students, the former was more important (over half the professors came from Germany, at least another third were Baltic Germans). Among the 30 German-language universities, of which 23 were inside the German Empire, Dorpat was the 11th in size. In teaching, the university educated the local Baltic German leadership and professional classes as well as staff especially for the administration and health system of the entire Russian Empire. In scholarship, it was an international university; the time between 1860 and 1880 was its "golden age".
The freedom to be a half-German university ceased with the rise of nationalist tendencies in Russia, which held homogenization more important than retaining a bi-lingual university. Between 1882 and 1898, Russification in language, appointments, etc., was imposed, with some exceptions (such as the Divinity School, which the state feared would be used by the Orthodox clergy to teach dangerous Protestant views and was thus allowed to continue in German until 1916). By 1898, when both the town and the university were renamed Yuryev, virtually all distinguished scholars from Germany had left. The University of Yuryev existed until 1918, when during part of the fall term, it was reopened, under German occupation, as Dorpat. Russian academic staff and students took refuge in Voronezh in Russia, giving rise to the foundation of Voronezh State University, which traces its own history back to the foundation of the University of Tartu and still holds several physical properties of the latter.
University of Tartu (1919–)
Since Estonia became independent in 1918, the University of Tartu has been an Estonian-language institution since 1919. The university was named Ostland-Universität in Dorpat during the German occupation of Estonia in 1941–1944 and Tartu State University (Estonian: Tartu Riiklik Ülikool) in 1940–1941 and 1944–1989, during the Soviet occupation. During Soviet rule, although Estonian remained the principal language of instruction, some courses were taught in Russian, and there were several Russian curricula. Estonia regained independence in 1991, and the full recovery of academic autonomy of the university can be dated to 1992. Presently there are no courses in Russian.
The last decade has been marked by organizational and structural changes, as well as adaptations to various university models (American, Scandinavian, German) against the background of the Soviet and Baltic German past. Most recently, the university has been and is still being marked by the adaptation of the Bologna declaration in Estonia generally and Tartu specifically, leading to major changes in curricula and studies, as well as by strong organizational centralization attempts. Recent plans also include the abolition of the Chair system (an Americanization) and of the faculties, which is supposed to lead to four large divisions (Humanities, Social Sciences, Natural Sciences, and Medicine) under briefly serving deans and rector-appointed financial administrators.
The university's four museums, its Botanical Gardens, and sports facilities are, by and large, open to the general public. The university possesses some 150 buildings, 30 of which are outside of Tartu. 31 of its buildings decorate the city as architectural monuments. However, the current reforms include attempts to sell, or have the state co-sponsor, several of these buildings and monuments, as well as sports facilities, as they are not seen as part of the university's mission proper.
At the same time, there are numerous recently constructed or renovated university buildings and student dormitories, such as the Von Bock House. Many of the new buildings are built to Maarjamõisa (about 2 km southwest of the historical university centre), such as the Technology Institute, the Biomedical Center, the Chemistry building, and the new Physics building.
At the University of Tartu, currently more than 3,300 scientific publications are produced every year. About half of all publications by Estonian scientists in journals (those covered by citation indexes like "SCI Expanded", "SSCI" or "A&HCI") are written by Tartu authors.
According to the university administration, the most remarkable recent research achievements have been in the fields of molecular and cell biology, laser medicine, materials science, laser spectroscopy, biochemistry, and psychology.
The university cooperates with private enterprises, and acts itself as a nucleus for the development of spin-off firms (examples from recent past include Asper Biotech and others).
While mainly located in Tartu, the university also operates in Narva, Pärnu, Tallinn and Viljandi. Narva and Pärnu Colleges are part of the Faculty of Social Sciences, Viljandi Culture Academy belongs to the Faculty of Arts and Humanities. The School of Law Tallinn office, University of Tartu Tallinn representation and the Estonian Marine Institute are located in the Estonian capital.
|Faculty of Arts and Humanities||Faculty of Social Sciences||Faculty of Medicine||Faculty of Science and Technology|
|School of Theology and Religious Studies||School of Law||Institute of Biomedicine and Translational Medicine||Estonian Marine Institute|
|Institute of History and Archaeology||School of Economics and Business Administration||Institute of Family Medicine and Public Health||Institute of Physics|
|Institute of Estonian and General Linguistics||Institute of Social Studies||Institute of Pharmacy||Institute of Chemistry|
|Institute of Philosophy and Semiotics||Institute of Education||Institute of Clinical Medicine||Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology|
|Institute of Cultural Research and Arts||Institute of Psychology||Institute of Dentistry||Institute of Technology|
|College of Foreign Languages and Cultures||Johan Skytte institute of Political Studies||Institute of Sport Sciences and Physiotherapy||Institute of Ecology and Earth Sciences|
|Viljandi Culture Academy||Narva College||Institute of Computer Science|
|Pärnu College||Institute of Mathematics and Statistics|
Nearly quarter of the whole Estonian university student population study at the University of Tartu. While most of the curricula are taught in Estonian, there are a number of degree programmes with English as a medium of instruction.
Science and Technology
More than 100 doctoral degrees are defended annually, which makes up more than half of the total number in Estonia. The language of instruction for most of the PhD programmes (35) is English. There are four programmes which at least partly has Estonian as a medium of instruction. These programmes are: Estonian and Finno-Ugric Linguistics, Law, History and Pharmacy.
According to the university, the alumni comprise 99% of Estonian doctors, dentists and pharmacists, 40% of the members of the parliament, 60% of the ministers in the government, 87% of the Estonian Bar Association, 100% of judges, and 95% of the prosecutors.
In the Erasmus programme for student exchange, the University of Tartu cooperates with more than 200 universities in 26 countries. In 2007/2008, there were about 175 Erasmus students at UT. The vast majority comes from Finland, Germany, Italy, France and Spain.
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