Rector Väänänen: Internationality and Tolerance Important Themes of the University since Foundation

​The turning point which enabled the founding of the first Finnish-language university in Turku took place already in the years preceding Finland's independence. A central operator was the Turku Finnish University Society, the constitutive meeting of which was held a little over a month before Finland was declared independent Then, the long-term idea of founding the world's first Finnish university in Turku began to take shape.

The Turku Finnish University Society founded a Finnish-language university in Turku on 28 February 1920. An extensive fund-raising was organised and altogether 22,040 donations were received from the Finnish people.

It should be noted, however, that the idea had already started to grow much earlier and various activities had been created around it already before the constitutive meeting. For example, the fund-raising actually began already before the constitutive meeting of the Turku Finnish University Society.

– The further the work of the Turku Finnish University Society progressed, the clearer it became that people wanted a Finnish-language university to treasure Finnish culture. However, it was understood already early that internationality and tolerance were an important part of a national university, reminded Väänänen.

Member of Parliament Krista Kiuru University's Alumni of the Year

The Alumni of the Year recognition is awarded annually to a former student of the University of Turku who has promoted the success of the University of Turku and Finnish society with their activities. Member of Parliament Krista Kiuru graduated as Master of Social Sciences from the University of Turku in 2001.

– I am very flattered and grateful for receiving this recognition. The University of Turku has offered me priceless knowledge and skills and an extremely good Master of Social Sciences degree. What I have learned has carried me through my youth and has been a strength in many responsible tasks today, says Kiuru.

It is stated in the selection criteria that Kiuru has actively contributed to the development of education and research both nationally and regionally. The University of Turku thanks Kiuru for persistent and purposeful work in developing the Satakunta region and its collaborative network.

– For my part, I have tried to support the unique work the University of Turku does for promoting transnational education and investing in skill-based growth. We have also worked towards the same goal of developing the Finnish comprehensive education so that we will be the best in the world again. I value the actions of the University of Turku in promoting these also socially important matters.

In addition, Rector Kalervo Väänänen and Turku Finnish University Society Chair Riitta Montto awarded three Phoenix Universitatis Turkuensis decorations for participation in the University's operations and for active collaboration. The decorations were awarded to the Mayor of Turku Aleksi Randell, the CEO of Turku OP Financial Group Olli-Pekka Saario and Kari Vainio, the Editor-in-chief at Turun Sanomat.

The joint performance of Academy Professor Hannu Salmi and dance theatre ERI called "Songs of a small nation" combined dance and speech in honour of the occasion. The performance celebrated Finland's 100 years of independence.  

>> The history of the University of Turku


Photos: Hanna Oksanen

Published date 3/2/2017 4:15 PM ,  Modified date 3/3/2017 9:13 AM

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