University of Helsinki celebrates the 365th anniversary

To mark the 365th anniversary, a new website on the history of the University has been opened.

To mark the 365th anniversary, a new website on the history of the University has been opened The University of Helsinki was established on 26 March 1640 in Turku, as a state university of the Swedish crown. This year the anniversary celebrations are held a little early, on Wednesday 23 March because of the Easter holidays.

The several hundred years of university teaching, research and international relations can be divided into three periods. The first period lasted until 1808 – from its establishment to the War of Finland. During that period, the University was known as the Royal Academy of Turku.

The second period covers 1809–1917, when Finland was a Grand Duchy of the Russian Empire.

After Finland became part of Russia in 1809, Tsar Alexander I greatly expanded the University, now called the Academy of Turku.

In 1828, the University, and thereby the highest education in Finland, was transferred to Helsinki, the new administrative centre of the Grand Duchy. In conjunction with the move, the name of the University was changed to the Imperial Alexander University of Finland.

The third period in the history of the University began when Finland declared independence in 1917. In that period, it acquired a central role in the building of the Finnish nation and welfare society. The name University of Helsinki was adopted in 1919.

To read more about the history of the University, visit the history website opened to celebrate the 365th anniversary of the University at The pages also contain a multimedia show University of Helsinki 365 years.

Annual report 2004.

Text: Simo Salmela
Photo: Helsinki University Museum

Translation: Valtasana Oy

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