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 UT is the best research university in New Europe (Times Higher Education New Europe Ranking 2018) and the third best university in Emerging Europe and Central Asia(QS University Rankings: Emerging Europe and Central Asia 2018). In Politics and International Studies, the UT ranks among 151-200 world’s best universities (QS World University Rankings). The UT is a member of the Coimbra Group, a prestigious club of renowned research universities; the Guild of European Research Intensive Universities (GUILD); as well as the League of European Research Universities (LERU).
The UT has 13,000 students and over 3500 staff members. To support and develop the professional competence of its students and academic staff, the university has entered into bilateral cooperation agreements with 74 partner institutions in 29 countries. Every year the University of Tartu hosts over 1000 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 in 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.