History of the University of Tampere

History of the University of Tampere

The institution that we now know as the University of Tampere was established in Helsinki in 1925. It started life as the Civic College, was renamed the School of Social Sciences in 1930, and became the University of Tampere in 1966.

These pages tell you about the work, events and people at the University of Tampere and its earlier incarnations. A list of books about the University is also included.

The photographs published on these pages may be used in articles and programmes about the University, but the source of the photograph and/or the photographer’s name must be credited. More photographs (including ones suitable for printing) about the history of the University of Tampere may be requested from the Press and Information Office. Please contact communications@uta.fi

Photographs: Archive of the University of Tampere, Erkki Karén and Jonne Renvall

University of Tampere through the years

The 1920s

  • In 1925, the Civic College was established in Helsinki
  • Offering three degrees – in journalism, public administration and the management of cooperative organisations – the Civic College’s first student intake was 72
  • The first rector was Yrjö Ruutu and the first chancellor (then called the inspector) was Rafael Erich
     

The 1930s

  • At the beginning of the decade, the number of students was 195
  • In 1930, the name of the College was changed to the School of Social Sciences, and the institution offered seven vocationally oriented bachelor’s degrees in journalism, public administration, management of cooperative organisations, municipal administration, child protection, public law, and civic education, plus a Master of Social Sciences degree
  • In 1932, Ms. Sylvi Kauhanen graduated as the institution’s first Master of Social Sciences
  • In 1933, a new building for the Civic College was built on Franzéninkatu in Helsinki
  • In the same year, departments for vocationally oriented bachelor’s-level education were established for economics and social sciences, and administrative and legal studies

perustuskivi1930

The foundation stone of the new building for the Civic College was laid in March 1930. Rector Yrjö Ruutu is reading the declaration from the vellum that would be laid with the stone. From the left: editor Anton Huotari, architect Veikko Leistén, journalist Yrjö Soini, Mrs Leistén, Professor Arvi Grotenfelt, director Yrjö Harvia, Master of Social Sciences Tuure Tornivuori (at the back), director Herman Paavilainen, an unknown person and Professor Väinö Voionmaa. Photograph: Archive of the University of Tampere

 

The 1940s

  • At the beginning of the decade, the number of students was 227
  • In 1942, a department for vocationally oriented bachelor’s-level studies in social work was established, offering degrees in social work (1942) and youth work (1945), with a prison officer’s degree being offered later (1949)
  • In 1945, the School started to offer bachelor’s-level studies in librarianship and the Research Institute for Social Sciences was established
  • In 1949, the first faculty – the Faculty of Social Sciences – was established

The 1950s

  • At the beginning of the decade, the number of students was 661
  • In 1953, the first Licentiate of Social Sciences degree was completed by Mr Onni Kukkonen
  • In 1955, the first doctoral degree was completed by Mr Kosti Huuhka
  • In 1956, the first ceremonial conferment of Master’s Degrees was organised, and the City of Tampere and the School of Social Sciences came to an agreement on relocating the higher education institution to Tampere

The 1960s

  • At the beginning of the decade, the number of students was 933
  • In 1960, the main building, designed by Toivo Korhonen, was completed and the School of Social Sciences relocated to Tampere
  • In 1964, the Faculty of Humanities was established, followed by the Faculty of Economics and Business Administration one year later
  • In 1966, the name of the institution was changed to the University of Tampere

yrjosimola

A removal van on Franzéninkatu in Helsinki in 1960. Finance director Yrjö Silo bids farewell. Photograph: Archive of the University of Tampere. Photograph: Archive of the University of Tampere

 

 

 

yrjolittunen


Director Yrjö Littunen, in 1965, works in the engine room of the Research Institute for Social Sciences, which housed a punch card machine. People called it the shingle-cutting machine. Photograph: Archive of the University of Tampere/Pentti Forsman

 

 

The 1970s

  • At the beginning of the decade, the number of students was 6,766
  • In 1970, the Continuing Education Centre was established
  • In 1972, the Faculty of Medicine was established
  • In 1974, the Faculty of Education was established and the University became state owned
  • In 1975, the Department of Clinical Medicine was established, the first part of the Pyynikintie premises were completed, and the third ceremonial conferment and the University’s 50th anniversary were celebrated
  • In 1976, the Department of Biomedicine and the Language Centre were established
  • In 1979, the Department of Public Health was established, and the University Library moved to the Attila building
     

promootio75

President Urho Kekkonen becomes a doctor honoris causa at the ceremonial conferment of doctoral degrees and honorary doctorates in 1975. Professor of philosophy Raili Kauppi acts as the promoter. Photograph: Archive of the University of Tampere

 

The 1980s

  • At the beginning of the decade, the number of students was 8,630
  • In 1982, the second phase of the renovations was completed at Pyynikintie 2, and the Faculty of Medicine organised a ceremonial conferment of doctoral degrees to celebrate its 10th anniversary
  • In 1985, the joint ceremonial conferment of all the faculties and the University’s 60th anniversary celebrations were organised
  • In the same year, part of Tammelan puistokatu was renamed Yliopistonkatu (University Street)
  • In 1989, the departments for vocationally oriented bachelor’s-level education in social sciences, public administration and social work were merged

The 1990s

  • At the beginning of the decade, the number of students was 10,095
  • In 1990, the Faculty of Humanities organised a ceremonial conferment of honorary doctorates
  • In 1992, the Faculty of Medicine organised a ceremonial conferment of doctorates and the Faculty of Economics and Administration organised a conferment of honorary doctorates
  • In the same year, the Pinni A building, designed by Antti Katajamäki, was completed on the main campus
  • In 1995, the Institute of Medical Technology (IMT) was established
  • In 1998, the University discontinued the department for vocationally oriented bachelor’s-level studies

laaketeide1994Rector Jarmo Visakorpi participates in the students’ demonstration on 1 February 1994. The Ministry of Education had planned to discontinue training for the Licentiate of Medicine degree at the University of Tampere. The solution was to decrease the number of admissions from 96 to 40 students for the 1994–1998 period. Since then, the University has been able to increase the number of admissions. As of 2017, more than 3,400 Licentiates of Medicine have graduated from the University of Tampere. - Photograph: Erkki Karén

 

The 2000s

  • At the beginning of the decade, the number of students was 13,995
  • In 2000, the faculties’ joint ceremonial conferment of doctoral degrees and the University’s 75th anniversary celebrations were organised
  • In the same year, the Pinni B building, designed by Antti Katajamäki, was completed
  • In 2005, the Regea Cell and Tissue Center was established and the Faculty of Medicine celebrated a ceremonial conferment of doctoral degrees
  • In 2006, the Linna building, designed by Juha Saarijärvi, was completed
  • In 2009, the Virta building, designed by Timo Virta, and the Arvo building, designed by Matti Mastosalo, were completed
     

promootio2000


The faculties’ joint ceremonial conferment and the University’s 75th anniversary were celebrated in spring 2000. The ceremonial procession walks to the Tampere Cathedral for the Conferment Service. Photograph: Erkki Karén

 

 

 

 

pinnb2003

The Pinni B building, completed in autumn 2003, houses about 500 offices and twenty-three lecture halls. More than half of the 2,100 employees working at the University are teachers and researchers. Photograph: Erkki Karén

 

 

The 2010s

  • At the beginning of the decade, the number of students was 15,643
  • In 2010, the joint ceremonial conferment of doctoral degrees was organised by the Faculties of Economics and Administration, Humanities and Information Sciences
  • In 2011, nine schools were established to replace the departments and faculties
  • In 2012, an educational reform was undertaken, and the University started to offer studies in degree programmes
  • In 2012, the Schools of Medicine, Health Science and Biomedical Technology organised a ceremonial conferment of doctoral degrees
  • In 2014, the Schools of Communication, Media and Theatre, Education, and Social Sciences and Humanities organised a joint ceremonial conferment of doctoral degrees
  • In 2016, the second phase of the Arvo building, designed by Matti Mastosalo, was completed
  • In 2017, the University’s nine schools were reorganised to become six faculties