The University of Turku celebrates its centenary in 2020. Our motto – From a free people to free science – refers to our University’s unique history.
On the verge of Finland's independence, the people were determined to establish the first Finnish-language university in the world. Thus, the Turku Finnish University Society was founded, and in three years it collected donations from 22,040 individuals to establish the University of Turku.
The University of Turku was founded on 28 February 1920. Education started in the summer of 1922 in the former Phoenix building which was situated on the north side of the Turku market square. University Street, Yliopistonkatu in Finnish, still cuts through the city centre as a reminder of the University’s founding years.
Today, the University of Turku is a multidisciplinary and international community of over 20,000 students and 3,300 researchers, teachers, and experts. In Turku, the operations are centralised on the University Hill and the surrounding campus. In addition, the University has campuses in Rauma and Pori.
Events during the centenary year
The centenary celebration kicks off on the eve of the Anniversary Celebration on Thursday, 27 February 2020 when the University organises a large outdoor event for the public, the UTU100 Carnival. The Anniversary Celebration is held on 28 February 2020.
The Ceremonial Conferment of Doctoral Degrees is held on 28–29 May 2020. The previous ceremonial conferment was held in 2017.
On Friday, 4 September 2020, the start of the academic year is celebrated with an event by the Aura River as well as with the traditional Opening Ceremony. The Opening Carnival will be part of the event at the riverside.
In addition to the three large celebrations, the centenary year includes several smaller events the programme will be updated throughout the year.