|The University of Tartu
The University of Tartu has a rather international history. It was founded by the Swedish King Gustav II Adolf in 1632, and in the years from 1802 to1918 the language of instruction was German. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, which had controlled the university’s curricula for over 40 years, the university became Estonia’s national university, thus bearing responsibility for the promotion and upholding of Estonian science and culture. This position is reflected by the fact that approximately 70% of Estonian Ph.D. degrees are awarded in Tartu and 60% of Estonia’s internationally published papers and articles are written there. The university is comprised of 11 different faculties: the faculties of Religion, Law, Medicine and Philosophy, as well as Biology and Geography, Physics and Chemistry, Education, Exercise and Sports Sciences, Economics and Business Administration and the faculties of Mathematics, Computer Sciences and Social Sciences. Recent remarkable achievements in research have been carried out in areas ranging from cell biology and laser medicine to computer linguistics and psychology. A special feature of the institution’s profile is its role as a promoter of innovative ideas that are put into practise in close cooperation with enterprising and forward-looking companies. As the university seeks to achieve high standards in all aspects of academic life it has signed numerous cooperation agreements with research institutions worldwide, and has also established a great number of international exchange projects for its 19,000 students.
As Tartu is a town dominated by the university and its campus, it has a diverse and vibrant atmosphere, as well as a rich cultural life. Many of the university’s buildings are impressive architectural monuments which add to the charm of this decorative city and its attractive green surroundings.
With a population of about 100,000, Tartu is the second largest city in Estonia. Situated 185 kilometres south of the capital Tallinn, it is at the heart of Southern Estonia. The first written records of the city date from 1030. Today Tartu is a town inhabited by predominantly young people. More than 20,000 of its residents are university students and over 20,000 attend secondary or vocational schools. Its universities and research institutions, rapidly evolving innovative entrepreneurship, theatres, museums, clubs and sports traditions - all of these things radiate a characteristic Tartu spirit, and make this town of green parks on the banks of the River Emajõgi a highly suitable place for study, research, and recreation.