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University of Helsinki A Leading European University

Building The Future Since 1640

History of the University :

The University of Helsinki 1917-

The third stage in the history of the University as a university in the Republic of Finland began after Finland became independent in 1917.

Once Finland gained her independence in 1917 the University was given a crucial role in building the nation state and welfare society. Members of the academic community promoted the international relations of the new state and the development of its economic life. Furthermore, they were actively involved in national politics and the struggle for equality.

In the 20 th century, scholarly research at the University of Helsinki reached the level of the European elite in many disciplines. This was manifested, among other things, by international recognitions granted to its professors, such as the Fields medal received by the mathematician L.V. Ahlfors in 1936, the Nobel Prize in Chemistry granted to Professor A.I. Virtanen in 1945 and the Nobel Prize in Medicine shared by Professor Ragnar Granit in 1967.

After World War II, university research focused on improving Finnish living conditions and supporting major changes in the structure of society and business. The University also contributed to the breakthrough of modern technology.

The progress of scientific development created many new disciplines and faculties at the University of Helsinki. At present the University comprises 11 faculties, 500 professors and almost 40,000 students. The University has established as its goal to be one of Europe’s top multidisciplinary research universities.

Further information:

Helsinki university museum