The biggest and highest-ranked university in Estonia, based in the second-largest town Tartu, was the first with tuition in Estonian language, in December 1919.
The university was founded by King Gustavus Adolphus of Sweden in 1632, thus being one of the oldest universities in Northern Europe, but studies were conducted first in German and later in Russian until Estonia became an independent state and had finally an opportunity to introduce the national language in the curriculum.
During the Soviet occupation of 1944-1991, although Estonian remained the principal language of instruction, some courses were taught in Russian, and there were several Russian curricula. In 1991, the national university status was restored again.
Currently, there are over 17,000 students and according to one of the top university ranking lists in the world, the QS World University Rankings out of Great Britain, the University of Tartu (UT) now holds the highest position ever for an Estonian university - 379th.
The 95th anniversary celebrations kick off today in Tartu. A seminar of the Estonian Language Council, “Demography and the Estonian language” will take place in the conference hall of the UT Library. The photo exhibition “Faces of the University” will be displayed on the wall of the von Bock House, and a concert featuring Estonian pop bands at the Tartu Student Club will also take place. Vaiko Eplik & Eliit, I Wear* Experiment and Tiger Milk will be performing.
UT Narva College will have concert on Friday evening when the Estonian Academy of Sciences Male Choir and Narva Boys Choir will perform at the college.
The main ceremony will happen on Monday. There will be an anniversary lecture, conferment of honorary doctorates and PhD degrees in the Assembly Hall of the University of Tartu. A presentation of the university’s award for contribution to Estonian national identity will also take place.