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University of Tartu


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UT is Estonia's leading center of research and training. It preserves the Estonian people's culture and spearheads the country's reputation in research and provision of higher education. UT belongs to the top 1.2% of the world's best universities.
As Estonia's national university, UT stresses the importance of international co-operation and partnerships with reputable research universities worldwide. The university's strong research potential is evidenced by the fact that the University of Tartu has been invited to join the Coimbra Group, a prestigious club of renowned research universities.
UT includes four faculties. To support and develop its students and academic staff's professional competence, the university has entered into bilateral co-operation agreements with 79 partner institutions in 31 countries.
The University of Tartu was founded in 1632 by the Swedish king Gustavus Adolphus. It was initially called Academia Dorpatensis. Johan Skytte, governor of Livonia, made the necessary preparations for creating a university in Tartu (then Dorpat).
Academia Dorpatensis, modeled after the University of Uppsala in Sweden, was intended to pursue research and advance learning in various disciplines. The University of Tartu (UT) has continued to adhere to this approach throughout the centuries and remains today the only classical university in Estonia. Research at UT focuses on subjects as diverse as medicine and philosophy, genetics, and computer science.
The first students enrolled 20-21 April 1632. The opening ceremony of Academia Dorpatensis (Academia Gustaviana) took place on 15 October in the same year. The academy in Tartu functioned with philosophy, law, theology, and medical faculties based on the University of Uppsala privileges. On account of the Russian-Swedish War, the University of Tartu moved to Tallinn in 1656, and in 1665, it closed down.
In 1690 Tartu became a university town again. Academia Gustavo-Carolina moved shortly after from Tartu to Pärnu due to the coalition against Sweden and the Great Famine of 1695-1697. Academia Gustavo-Carolina, which had opened in Pärnu on 28 August 1699, was closed because of the surrender to Russian forces on 12 August 1710 during the Northern War. According to the capitulation act, the Russians had agreed to keep the university in Pärnu.
In the 17th century, future outstanding Swedish scientists Urban Hiärne, Olof Verelius, Arvid Moller, and others studied at the university. Among the academic staff were: Friedrich Menius, professor of history (the history of Livonia, the first scientific approach to Estonian folklore) Sven Dimberg, professor of mathematics (the first in the world to deliver lectures based on Newton's theory) Olaus Hermelin, professor of rhetoric and poetry and Lars Micrander, professor of medicine (the founder of balneology, the discoverer of natural mineral water springs).
At the end of the 17th century, the university's mentality and outlook on the world substantially impacted Descartes' philosophy.
With the opening of Academia Gustaviana's printing press in 1631 (it was opened at the secondary school of Tartu, the university's predecessor), book printing in Estonia began. About 1,300 volumes were published.
NB! The dates in this article are given according to the old calendar that was used in Estonia.


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