The Royal Academy of Turku
The first university to be established in Turku was The Royal Academy of Turku, in 1640, which was transferred to the new Capital, Helsinki, after the Great Fire of Turku in 1827.
Three famous Finns began their studies in Turku in 1822. These were Johan Vilhelm Snellman, Elias Lönnrot, and Johan Ludvig Runeberg who have a statue on University Hill. Another reminder of the Royal Academy is the Old Academy Building near the University's campus.
The University of Turku
The modern University of Turku was founded in 1920. The Finnish intelligentsia wanted a purely Finnish university, the first of its kind in Finland. 22,040 people contributed to the fund-raising campaign. Newly gained independence and the campaign are reflected in the motto of the University about a free people's gift to free science. To honour the memory of these donors, the University has named its specially created liqueur "22 040". Developed by the University's own food chemists, the liqueur does homage to some of the distinctive fruits of the Finnish landscape: the cloudberry, the rowan and the sea buckthorn.
The first premises of the University of Turku were in the centre of the city, by the market square. In the 1950s a new campus was built on Ryssänmäki (fi) (Russian Hill – now known as University Hill). In the 1960s the University started to expand rapidly, a process that still continues.
The University was made a public institution in 1974.
Since 1995 the University of Turku has been a member of Coimbra Group.
In January 2010, Turku School of Economics merged with the University of Turku, forming a seventh faculty of the university.