University celebrates its 365th anniversary

It is as many years from 1640 as there are days in a year.

University's Main Building The 365th anniversary celebrations will be part of the traditional festivities along the academic year: the anniversary event in March, students’ Flora’s Day in May, the opening ceremonies of the academic year in September, and the alumni festivities in October.

The anniversary year highlights the significance of the University of Helsinki in building Finnish identity, culture and wellbeing.

The University of Helsinki was established in Turku on 26 March 1640. The Royal Academy of Turku had four faculties and its task was to train clergy and civil servants.

After Finland became an autonomous Grand Duchy of the Russian empire, Tsar Alexander I transferred the University to the new capital of Finland, Helsinki, in 1828. It was rechristened the Imperial Alexander University. Many of its alumni made great contributions and introduced new ideas to Finnish society. National awakening in the 19th century began in university circles and laid the foundation for independence.

After Finland became independent in 1917, the university’s name was changed to the University of Helsinki in 1919. The university played a key role in building the Finnish nation state and welfare society.

Today, the university has 11 faculties with 470 professors, and nearly 40,000 students. The University aims to be one of the best multidisciplinary research universities in Europe.

The official 365th anniversary of the university is on 26 March. Because of Easter holidays, the anniversary celebrations will be held on 23 March.

Text: Liisa Voutilainen
Photo: Ida Pimenoff

Translation: Valtasana Oy

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