University & City
The University of Tartu (UT), founded in 1632 by the Swedish king Gustavus Adolphus, is the only classical university in Estonia, pursuing research and advanced learning in a wide variety of disciplines ranging from medicine to philosophy, from genetics to computer science.
The University of Tartu is Estonia’s leading centre of research and training. As Estonia’s national university, UT stresses the importance of international co-operation and partnerships with reputable research universities all over the world. The robust research potential of the university is evidenced by the fact that it is the only Baltic university that has been invited to join the Coimbra Group, a prestigious club of renowned research universities; the Guild of European Research Intensive Universities (GUILD), a newly established organisation of European research-intensive universities; as well as the League of Euroopean Research Universities (LERU).
UT includes four faculties, some of which are situated in different parts of Estonia. To support and develop the professional competence of its students and academic staff, the university has entered into bilateral co-operation agreements with 74 partner institutions in 29 countries. Every year the University of Tartu hosts over 700 international students in its degree and semester programmes. International students come from more than 40 countries from all corners of the world.
Tartu is the second largest city of Estonia with about 100,000 inhabitants. Situated 186 km southeast of Tallinn, the city is the centre of southern Estonia. In contrast to Estonia’s political and financial capital Tallinn, Tartu is often considered the intellectual and cultural hub, especially since it is home to Estonia’s oldest and most renowned university. Tartu is the cradle of the Estonian Song Festival tradition as well as of the “national awakening” in the late 19th century. Today, students make up nearly one-fifth of the population of the “city of good thoughts, ” adding youthful vitality to the quaint historic town located on the green banks of River Emajõgi. Described by Lonely Planet as being surprisingly sophisticated for a city of its size, Tartu has fascinating museums, charming cafes, and a lively cultural scene. It offers its inhabitants a safe, friendly and green living environment, free of the hassles associated with life in major metropolitan centres.