University of Helsinki

The University of Helsinki is the oldest, largest and most multidisciplinary university in Finland. It is also the only Finnishmember of the League of European Research Universities (LERU) and ranks consistently among top-20 universities in Europe. It was established in 1640 and has 11 faculties: Theology, Law, Medicine, Arts, Science, Social Sciences, Pharmacy, Biosciences, Behavioural Sciences, Agriculture and Forestry and Veterinary Medicine.

Of the University’s 38000 students well over 2000 are international, covering more than 110 countries. There are some 7400 employees, of whom 3500 are researchers and teachers.

The University offers a wide range of services to its students including advanced computing possibilities and extensive library services. For an international student there is no need to know Finnish in order to be able to study as all faculties offer learning opportunities in English.

y of Helsinki (Finnish: Helsingin yliopisto, Swedish: Helsingfors universitet) is a university located in Helsinki, Finland since 1829, but founded in the city of Turku 1640 as The Royal Academy of Turku. It is the oldest and 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.

Since August 1, 2005 the University complies with the standards of the Europe-wide Bologna Process and offers Bachelor's, Master's, Licenciate's and Doctoral degrees.

The university is a member of the LERU, Unica (Universities in the Capitals of Europe), Utrecht Network and the Europaeum and places heavy emphasis on high-quality research.


The university was founded in 1640 by Count Per Brahe in Turku, as the Royal Academy of Turku (Latin: Regia Academia Aboensis). It was the third university founded in the Swedish Empire, following Uppsala University and the Academia Gustaviana in Dorpat, the predecessor of the University of Tartu in Estonia.

In 1809, Finland became an autonomous grand duchy in subjugation to imperial Russia, wherefore the name of the academy in Turku was modified to be Imperial Academy of Turku. Following the great city fire of Turku in 1827 and the move of the capital of the Grand Duchy of Finland, under Russian rule since 1809, to Helsinki, the university was relocated there starting from 1829 and Nicholas I re-named it Imperial Alexander University of Finland in honor of his late brother and predecessor Czar Alexander I of Russia, who had given new resources to the academy. This university was the practical center of Finnish culture in 19th century, and a remarkable cradle of nationalist movements, liberalization demands, political parties, collections of cultural materials, and student activities. It was named the University of Helsinki after Finland became independent in 1917.

The main building of the university, which was designed by Carl Ludvig Engel, was completed in 1832. It is located next to the Senate Square in the heart of Helsinki's neoclassical centre, facing the Cathedral and the Government's Palace. Most of the important buildings in the City Centre Campus, such as the University Library, the Observatory and several faculty buildings, are also designed by Engel.


Faculties, departments, independent institutes and central administration

Faculty of Agriculture and Forestry
  • Department of Agrotechnology
  • Department of Animal Science
  • Department of Applied Biology
  • Department of Applied Chemistry and Microbiology
  • Department of Economics and Management
  • Department of Food Technology
  • Department of Forest Ecology
  • Viikki Tropical Resources Institute (VITRI)
  • Department of Forest Economics
  • Department of Forest Resource Management
  • Hyytiälä Forestry Field Station
  • Muddusjärvi Research Station
  • Suitia Research Farm
  • Viikki Research Farm
  • Värriö Subartic Research Station

Faculty of Arts
  • Arts Faculty Library
  • Christina Institute for Women's Studies
  • Department of Classical Philology
  • Department of Comparative Religion
  • Department of English
  • Department of Finnish language and literature
  • Department of Finno-Ugrian Studies
  • Department of General Linguistics
  • Department of German [in Finnish] [German]
  • Department of History
  • Department of Philosophy
  • Department of Romance Languages
  • Department of Scandinavian Languages and Literature
  • Department of Slavonic and Baltic Languages and Literatures
  • Department of Translation Studies
  • Institute for Art Research
  • Aesthetics
  • Art History
  • Comparative Literature
  • Film and Television Studies
  • Musicology
  • Semiotics
  • Theatre Research (in Finnish)
  • Institute for Cultural Research [in Finnish]
  • Archaeology [in Finnish]
  • Ethnology [in Finnish]
  • Folklore [in Finnish]
  • Maritime History
  • Museology
  • Institute for Asian and African Studies
  • Renvall Institute for Area and Cultural Studies

Faculty of Behavioural Sciences
  • Department of Applied Sciences of Education
  • Department of Education
  • Department of Home Economics and Craft Science
  • Department of Psychology
  • Cognitive Science
  • Department of Speech Sciences
  • Library of Behavioural Sciences
  • Teacher Training School No. 1 [in Finnish]
  • Viikki Teacher Training School [in Finnish]

Faculty of Biosciences
  • Department of Biological and Environmental Sciences
  • Department of Ecological and Environmental Sciences
  • Kilpisjärvi Biological Station
  • Lammi Biological Station
  • Tvärminne Zoological Station

Faculty of Law
  • Department of Criminal Law, Juridical Procedure and General Jurisprudential Studies
  • Department of Private Law
  • Department of Public Law
  • The Erik Castrén Institute of International Law and Human Rights
  • Institute of International Economic Law
  • Law Library
  • Vaasa Unit of Legal Studies

Faculty of Medicine
  • Department of Forensic Medicine
  • Department of Public Health
  • Haartman Institute
  • Institute of Biomedicine
  • Institute of Clinical Medicine
  • Institute of Dentistry
  • National Library of Health Sciences
  • Research & Development unit for Medical Education

Faculty of Pharmacy
  • Division of Biopharmaceutics and Pharmacokinetics
  • Division of Pharmaceutical Biology
  • Division of Pharmacology and Toxicology
  • Division of Pharmaceutical Chemistry
  • Division of Pharmaceutical Technology
  • Division of Social Pharmacy
  • Centre for Drug Research

Faculty of Science
  • Department of Astronomy
  • Department of Chemistry
  • Department of Computer Science
  • Department of Geography
  • Department of Geology
  • Department of Mathematics and Statistics
  • Department of Physics
  • Kumpula Science Library
  • LUMA Centre

Faculty of Social Sciences
  • Department of Communication
  • Department of Economics
  • Department of Mathematics and Statistics
  • Department of Political Science
  • Department of Social and Moral Philosophy
  • Department of Social Policy
  • Department of Social Psychology
  • Department of Sociology
  • Institute of Development Studies
  • Department of Social Science History
  • Social Science Library
  • Swedish School of Social Science

Faculty of Theology
  • Department of Biblical Studies
  • Department of Church History
  • Department of Comparative Religion
  • Department of Practical Theology
  • Department of Systematic Theology
  • Katariina Institute
  • Theology Library (in Finnish)

Faculty of Veterinary Medicine
  • Department of Basic Veterinary Sciences
  • Department of Clinical Veterinary Sciences
  • Department of Food and Environmental Hygiene
  • Saari Unit
  • Veterinary Medicine Library
  • Veterinary Teaching Hospital [in Finnish]
  • Independent institutes:
  • Aleksanteri Institute - Finnish Centre for Russian and East European Studies
  • Finnish Institute for Verification of the Chemical Weapons Convention (VERIFIN)
  • Finnish Museum of Natural History
  • Botanical Garden
  • Helsinki Center of Economic Research (HECER)
  • Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies
  • Helsinki Institute for Information Technology
  • Helsinki Institute of Physics (HIP)
  • Helsinki University Press
  • Institute for Molecular Medicine Finland (FIMM)
  • Finnish Genome Center
  • Ruralia-institute
  • Mikkeli Unit
  • Seinäjoki Unit
  • Institute of Biotechnology
  • Institute of Seismology
  • Language Centre
  • Neuroscience Center
  • Open University
  • Palmenia Centre for Continuing Education
  • The National Library of Finland
  • Undergraduate Library
  • Helsinki Summer School
  • Networks and campus organisations:
  • CICERO Learning
  • Helsinki University Centre for Environment HENVI
  • Helsinki Institute of Science and Technology Studies (HIST)
  • Network for European Studies
  • Network for Urban Studies
  • Viikki Laboratory Animal Centre
  • Viikki Science Library
  • Viikki School of Environmental Sciences
  • Viikki Research Group Organization in Molecular Biosciences
  • Central administration:
  • Administration Office
  • Finances [in Finnish]
  • General Administration [in Finnish]
  • Central archives
  • Registry and Records Management [in Finnish]
  • Official Calendar [in Finnish]
  • Head of Administration
  • Helsinki University Museum
  • IT Department
  • Library Coordination Office
  • Personnel and Legal Services [in Finnish]
  • Strategic Planning and Development
  • Technical Department [in Finnish]
  • University Communications
  • Yliopistoliikunta - university sports services

Helsinki University Ranked 100th in the 2007 THES-QS World University Ranking

Helsinki University Ranked 91st in the 2008 THES-QS World University Ranking

Helsinki University Ranked 108th in the 2009 THES-QS World University Ranking

Helsinki University Ranked 75th in the 2010 QS World University Ranking

Helsinki University Ranked 89th in the 2011 QS World University Ranking

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The roots of education are bitter, but the fruits is sweet ~ Aristotle

Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world ~ Nelson Mandela

Education is not a preparation for life, Education is life itself ~ John Dewey
William Butler Yeats: Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire.