Public institution

  • logo_Åbo Akademi University
    • Åbo Akademi University (Swedish: Åbo Akademi Swedish pronunciation: [ˈoːbu akadeˈmiː]) is the only exclusively Swedish language university in Finland. It is located in Turku (Åbo is the Swedish name of the city). As of 2004, there are 7 941 students and a staff consisting of 1 125 people. The university has activities not only in Turku, but also in Vaasa, Jakobstad, Helsinki and on Åland. Åbo Akademi was a private institution until 1981, when it was turned into a public institution.

      Åbo Akademi should not be confused with the Royal Academy of Åbo, which was founded in 1640, but moved to Helsinki after the Turku fire of 1827 and is today known as the University of Helsinki.

      Åbo Akademi was founded by private donations in 1918 as the third university in Finland, both to let Turku again become a university town and because it was felt that the Swedish language was threatened at the University of Helsinki. The Finnish University of Turku was founded in 1920, also by private donations and for similar reasons.

      As the only uni-lingually Swedish multi-faculty university in the world outside Sweden and consequently the only one in Finland, Åbo Akademi University is responsible for higher education for a large proportion of the Swedish-speaking population. This role has many implications for education and research as well as for the social environment. As there are few students in most subjects, cooperation between faculties and with other universities is very important.

      A significant minority of the students are Finnish-speaking. While Turku in itself is mostly Finnish, the university provides a strong Swedish environment. Most of the students, regardless of original language, will be functionally bilingual when finishing their studies.

      The university has a policy that non-Swedish speaking applicants from the Nordic countries are required to participate in a Swedish language test, in order to prove their ability to successfully study in Swedish. Applicants from non-Nordic countries can, however, choose between Swedish or English language tests.
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