Campus stories: The green Kumpula and Viikki Campuses

Did you know that Helsinki is one of the 10 greenest cities in the whole wide world (from both sustainability and nature perspective)? Helsinki encourages eco-friendliness and bicycle use, and strives towards becoming coal-free in the future. Two out of four Helsinki University Campuses are also surrounded by nature and distinctive greenery. It makes perfect sense that on these campuses one can study natural sciences and biology among other things.

When you take a walk around the Kumpula Science Campus area you can almost feel the knowledge absorbing through your skin. And this is no wonder: the Kumpula Campus is the utmost versatile and pioneering cluster of scientific research competence in the Nordic countries. There are a number of National Centres of Excellence on the Campus and loads of high quality co-operation partners. This means you can study and do research with support from the world’s leading academics – and become a part of international cutting edge research!

The Campus consists of the departments of Physics, Chemics, Mathematics and Statistics, Geosciences and Geography and Computer Science. It is also a proud home for the national LUMA Centre, which organizes science clubs and camps for children at the campus area. This way the university inspires and encourages children and youth to become more interested in natural sciences and mathematics and learn how we have a chance to build a more sustainable future.

The Finnish Meteorological Institute - that has one of the toughest jobs in the world predicting Finnish weather - is also situated on the Kumpula Campus.

Cozy and green Kumpula

What would be a better place for world renowned research and studies than green and hip Kumpula! The Kumpula area is known from the old wooden house district and is one of the most desired areas in Helsinki. Kumpula is a lively area with its cafés, flea markets, small shops, urban farms and annual block parties. In the summertime you can enjoy Kumpula outdoor public swimming pool that was built for Olympic training in the 1950’s.

The Kumpula Campus area has a Botanic Garden where one can seek for peace and relaxation if the studying gets too rough.  The beautiful garden takes its visitor for a trip around the world, and whilst on the journey you can also take a closer look at the 500 year-old Kumpula Manor.

The Campus also has its own active Sports Centre, a lot of housing for students and a big shopping centre nearby, so basically one doesn’t ever have to leave Kumpula. But in case you do, the beating heart of the city centre with its inspiring café and culture scene is a mere 4 kilometres away!

The Science Library of Physicum

As the Kumpula Campus is the youngest of all Helsinki University Campuses, it is also designed and built to match the high expectations and standards of today’s students.  The Science Library basks in light that shines through the huge glass walls which dominate the building’s facade.

The library is well equipped with silent study rooms, but you can also enjoy the comfortable and fun egg-shaped chairs on the main area, and get absorbed in your area of interest. If you get hungry or feel a sudden need for caffeine - like most of us Finns frequently do - don’t worry: just outside the library door there’s the Physicum Café that caters to everyone’s needs (they even serve delicious vegan meringue!).

Viikki – a nature lover’s heaven

Only a couple of decades ago the Viikki area was nothing but fields, where livestock grazed peacefully during the summerdays. Oh wait - there still are a number of cows happily gamboling around the grassland only a stone’s throw away from the campus area! The Viikki area with its cows, horses and numerous bird watching towers can make you feel like you’ve been thrown to the Finnish countryside.

Enjoy jogging? Great! Viikki has you covered with a great network of trails that zigzag through forests and seaside. On a rainy day you can visit Gardenia, a tropical garden, which the university owns together with the city of Helsinki. Sure enough, Viikki is a true paradise for a nature lover, who still wants to live in a city. The city centre can be reached by public transport in less than 30 minutes.

Studying on the green Campus of Viikki

There are altogether 4 faculties on the Viikki Campus that deliver top-notch research: Faculty of Biological and Environmental Sciences, Faculty of Agriculture and Forestry, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine and Faculty of Pharmacy. The Campus area features a lot of housing for students, who want to live close to the Uni Campus and Viikki Science Library, and at the same time enjoy the peaceful nature from their doorstep.

In addition to this, the Campus area in Viikki is a home to 23 companies in biotechnology, drug development and environment technology, Finnish Food Safety Authority Evira and Viikki Laboratory Animal Centre.  The Helsinki Think Company has also a great venue in Viikki for everyone to use!