The opening assembly of the University of Tartu of the Republic of Estonia on 1 December 1919 marked the establishment of an Estonian-language university that was above all designed for Estonian students and to serve Estonian society.

The anniversary celebrations of the national university are dedicated to Estonia and the Estonian language. The events and festivities planned for the anniversary year express the university’s thanks and serve as a gift for all people of Estonia.

The Estonian University of Tartu was born with the republic. After the end of World War II in December 1918, the German army handed over the University of Tartu to Peeter Põld, representative of the Estonian Government. Estonian became the university’s official language and once preparations were made, it opened its doors to 351 students, including 305 Estonians, on 6 October 1919. The university’s opening assembly took place on 1 December 1919 when negotiations for the Treaty of Tartu had not even begun.

Events

The centenary of the national university is celebrated throughout the year with a nation-wide cultural programme, an opinion festival and the largest gathering of alumni to date. The anniversary year draws to a close in December.

Please note that most of the events are held in Estonian.

18 April | Exhibition opening | Main building of the University of Tartu in art

16:00 University of Tartu Art Museum
Ülikooli 18, Tartu, Estonia

The exhibition focuses on the main building of the University of Tartu – a symbolic building of Tartu and of educational life in Estonia. Exhibited are views of the main building in painting, graphic art and drawings dating from early 19th century to the present day, giving a unique cross-section of Baltic German and Estonian art. Curators: Kristiina Tiideberg and Ingrid Sahk. Designer: Peeter Laurits, Professor of Liberal Arts at the University of Tartu in the 2017/2018 academic year. The exhibition will be open until 6 December 2019.

26 April | Exhibition opening | World in the rucksack. 100 years of scientific expeditions

16:00 Tallinn Zoo
Ehitajate tee 150, Tallinn, Estonia

The exhibition gives an overview of the beginnings of the Estonian school of natural science and its development over the last 100 years as seen through scientific expeditions. Through the contribution of nine scientists we can see how the materials and information collected during expeditions have given rise to ideas for preserving biodiversity and the natural environment. The travelling exhibition will be opened in the University of Tartu Natural History Museum on 27 November 2019.

29 April | Spring Concert of the University of Tartu Symphony Orchestra

19:00 University of Tartu Assembly Hall
Ülikooli 18, Tartu, Estonia

Programme
J. C. Arriaga Symphony in D major, part I and II
J. Sibelius „Pelléas and Mélisande“
L. Boccherini Cello Concerto in D major, part II and III
P. Tchaikovsky „Pezzo capriccioso“
L. Boccherini „La musica notturna delle strade di Madrid“

Soloist on the cello: Maria Mutso

Conductor: Taavi Kull

29 April | 20th Anniversary of Tartu Student Club

20:00 Tartu Student Club
Kalevi 24, Tartu, Estonia

The concert features Inger, Lepatriinu, Miljardid and Lexsoul Dancemachine.
Tickets are available in Piletimaailm.

16 May | Exhibition opening | Estonia of the ideals. 100 years of search

16:00 University of Tartu Museum
Lossi 25, Tartu, Estonia

The annual exhibition focuses on the Estonian national university and its role in the evolution of the Estonian state, covering events that have happened since the 1920s and made an impact on the Estonian state and the university. An important yet problematic topic from each decade has been highlighted.

The exhibition will be open until 6 September 2020.

Curators: Mairo Rääsk and Mari-Liis Hämelainen. Designer: Evelin Urm. Project manager: Mairo Rääsk.

17 May | University of Tartu Strategy Conference

10:00 University of Tartu Assembly Hall
Ülikooli 18, Tartu, Estonia

Thanks to focusing on top-level research and science-based higher education, and the national education and research policy conducing to it, the University of Tartu has become the best university in New Europe. Creating new knowledge, disseminating it through teaching and applying it outside the university is also one of the main guarantees of preservation and development of the Estonian state.

The University of Tartu invites current and future decision-makers in the field of education, research and innovation, as well as the university’s partners, employees and students, and all others who are interested in the university development to the Development Conference on 17 May. We will gather to discuss the choices guiding the university’s long-term development, and to find enthusiasm to set new targets and move towards them together.

At the conference, we will seek answers to the following questions:

  • What is the role of universities in the modern world?
  • How to find – in the University of Tartu and more widely, in the society – balance between the preservation and development of the national language and culture and globalisation and openness?
  • How can the University of Tartu contribute to a more rapid development of Estonia’s economy?

The working languages at the conference are Estonian and English. Simultaneous Estonian-English translation is provided.

The Development Conference is a part of the strategic planning process of the University of Tartu and one of the events of the 100th anniversary of Estonia’s national university.

17 May | Conference | Juhan Peegel 100

12:00 University of Tartu Institute of Social Studies, University Assembly Hall
Lossi 36 and Ülikooli 18, Tartu, Estonia

Juhan Peegel laid the foundation to teaching journalism at the University of Tartu. Without his contribution, the Estonian national university would be much poorer, and the society much blinder. To remember the great man and discuss his impact on the Estonia of today and tomorrow, a conference will be held to mark the 100th anniversary of the birth of Juhan Peegel on 17 May 2019. In the first half of the day, there are panel discussions moderated by teaching staff of the Institute of Social Studies and members of the Estonian Academic Journalism Association. In the second half, presentations are delivered in the university’s assembly hall. There will be an alumni event of Academica Peegeliana in the evening. Further information and registration.

17 May | 99th Anniversary of the University of Tartu Student Body

19:00 Erinevate Tubade Klubi
Kastani 42, Tartu, Estonia

The year 2019 is the centenary year of the Estonian national university. The Student Body of the University of Tartu is not much younger, celebrating its 99th anniversary. Former and current student representatives and their friends will gather to celebrate the anniversary in the upper-floor rooms of Aparaaditehas (Widget Factory) in Tartu to look back on past years and think about the future.
Ticket information: by invitation only, pre-registration required (info@tyye@ut.ee)

18 May | Alumni Get-together

All  day event

In the centenary year of the Estonian national university, the biggest ever alumni reunion is organised. All alumni of the University of Tartu from both Estonia and abroad are invited. The alumni event serves to express respect to our alma mater and all its people.

The celebrations will be held all over the city of Tartu. The day will be full of inspiring encounters, exciting discussions, sports activities and entertainment. There is also a procession and a grand party in the evening.

We expect all alumni from Estonia and elsewhere in the world to participate – if we have more than 4500 participants, our convention will be the biggest in the world and we’ll break the Guinness World Record. The participation of each alumnus counts!

More information is available on https://www.kokkutulek.utalumni.ee.

TICKET INFORMATION
Discount tickets are available for members of the University of Tartu alumni network UTalumni.

Join UTalumni www.utalumni.ee.

Tickets are available at Piletilevi.

18 May | Brainstorming

13:00 Toome Hill
Tartu, Estonia

On the day of the University of Tartu alumni get-together, discussions on nine socially important topics are held on three stages. We discuss the development trends of the university and city of Tartu, Estonianness, science, students and many other issues. The brainstorming event takes place in cooperation with Tartu City Government and the “Tartu 2024” team.

PROGRAMME OF BRAINSTORMING SESSIONS

University of Tartu Stage

UNIVERSITY OF TARTU: The University of Tartu in 100 years – sustainability of education in the Estonian language

ALUMNI: How to involve alumni in the activities of the city of Tartu and the University of Tartu?

RESEARCH: Invisible scientific achievements in our everyday life

Tartu 2024 Stage

TARTU: What is the uniqueness and advantage of Tartu in the world?

CAREER: Work, culture and work culture in a 21st-century city

STUDENTS: Student life: just studying or also creating (the city)?

Stage Three     

ENTREPRENEURSHIP: What does an entrepreneur need from the university?

ESTONIANNESS: I went away but came back. Why?

FUTURE: Man vs technology: impact of teachers in the society of the future

18 May | Premiere of restored documentary | Alma Mater Tartuensis by Theodor Luts

16:45 University of Tartu Assembly Hall
Ülikooli 18, Tartu, Estonia

The idea of the documentary was proposed to the jubilee committee by Johan Kõpp, the then rector of the university. President of the Student Body Ilmar Tõnisson, a multitalented young man who had already written at least one play, was asked to write the script and intertitles. The film was made by Theodor Luts, an experienced cameraman, author of two feature films and several documentaries. Simultaneously with making the university’s jubilee film, Luts was already preparing for his first sound film “Päikese lapsed” (“Children of the Sun”).

Material for the documentary was shot in two stages, on three film reels. Episodes of the university’s history and the daily studies at the university (20 min in total) were shot from May to June in 1932 and shown with intertitles to the university’s anniversary guests at the cinema Central in Tartu.
Ten more minutes of material were filmed of the anniversary events, and shown at the beginning of July in Tartu and Tallinn, and later elsewhere in Estonia. The final title of the documentary was “Alma Mater Tartuensis”, with the subordinate title “The 300-year history of the University of Tartu in pictures”.

It was advertised as a “film that gives a cross section of the history of the city and the university of Tartu, the activities of the university institutions, student life, and anniversary events”. The documentary was a silent film with intertitles, but the part showing the anniversary events remained without explanatory texts due to lack of time.

The restored version of the film with background music will be presented to the public during the centenary events of the Estonian-language university.

Jaak Lõhmus
Curator of the restoration of the documentary

9–10 August | Opinion Festival in Paide

All day event
Paide, Estonia

The guiding idea of the seventh Opinion Festival is the future. The festival is organised in cooperation with the Steering Group of Estonia 100 and the Estonian national university. Particularly welcome are discussions that in one way or another prepare us for the future and ask questions that do not really have answers yet.

21–25 August | Forest University symposium in Kääriku

All day event
Kääriku, Estonia

The Forest University aims to bring people together to look for solutions to important issues in Estonia. The discussions take place in the forest, away from everyday life, so participants will be able to fully concentrate. Experts will guide the audience to the key issues, then a discussion follows and a brainstorming process, which may lead to solutions. Thereby we fulfil one of the most important requirements of democracy: citizens must be well informed so that they can provide solutions to problems themselves. The other target is to develop a democratic discussion, which requires the will to understand other people’s standpoints, make compromises and avoid personal criticism.

www.metsaylikool.ee

2 September | Opening ceremony of the academic year at Kassitoome

Kassitoome
Tartu, Estonia

2 September | Book presentation | Academic republic. A brief history of the University of Tartu

16:00 University of Tartu Museum
Lossi 25, Tartu, Estonia

This popular science publication gives an overview of the story of the university and student life in different periods. With its humorous interludes and funny rankings, the book gives a picture of what the 17th-century student ate and what clothes the 19th-century student wore, where the 20th-century student liked to spend time, and how far the University of Tartu alumni have reached in the science world. This will all help the 21st-century student to learn about the diverse history of the dignified university.

The compiler of the book and project manager is Curator of the University of Tartu Museum Janet Laidla.

The book is in Estonian and English.

Publisher: University of Tartu Museum.

12 September | Book presentation | One hundred faces of the University of Tartu

16:00 University of Tartu Museum
Lossi 25, Tartu, Estonia

The book is based on the photo exhibition “Get ready! One hundred faces of the University of Tartu”, which was dedicated to the 100th anniversary of the Estonian national university. In 2017, one of the best known portrait photographers in Estonia, Birgit Püve took photos of one hundred outstanding researchers and professors of the university with an object reflecting their work.

1 October | Book presentation | Rector Jüri Kärner

University of Tartu

Professor Jüri Kärner (1940–2010) was the rector of the University of Tartu from 1988–1993.

2 November | Exhibition opening | Ars Academica: The University of Tartu Art Collection

18:00 Kadriorg Art Museum
Weizenbergi 37, Tallinn, Estonia

The University of Tartu is the historical heart of art education, collecting and art theory in Estonia. This exhibition gives a comprehensive overview of the university’s art collection and its development over more than two centuries. Besides world-class masterpieces, the exhibition displays works of art that carry the spirit and the mission of the university. Both Estonian and international art is displayed.

At the same time as the exhibition, an album-size book “100 works of art of the University of Tartu” is published. The book gives an overview of the best pieces of the university’s art treasures and telling the story of the university through art.

Curators are Ingrid Sahk of the University of Tartu Museum and Tiina-Mall Kreem of Kadriorg Art Museum. The album was compiled by Ingrid Sahk and Moonika Teemus.

The exhibition will be open in Kadriorg Art Museum until 5 April 2020. In 2021 it will be opened in the University of Tartu Museum.

2 November | Book presentation | 100 works of art of the University of Tartu

18:00 Kadriorg Art Museum
Weizenbergi 37, Tallinn, Estonia

12-14 November | International Conference | Studying Traditional Crafts: Goals and Methods in Higher Education

All day event
Viljandi, Estonia

The academisation of traditional crafts means studying traditional handicraft techniques, carrying out high-quality research in the field and being involved in creative activities. It requires developing new teaching and research methods by combining and integrating specialised expertise in the different fields within natural science, humanities and social sciences. However, it also brings along many challenges, such as the economic pressure to adapt to large groups with less contact time; high teaching costs and the need for well-equipped labs; balancing between theoretical research and practical training; balancing between tradition and innovation, etc.

Estonian Native Craft Department at University of Tartu Viljandi Culture Academy celebrates its 25th anniversary with an international conference dedicated to various topics that explore the role of craft studies in higher education.

More information is available on https://sisu.ut.ee/craftconference2019

27 November | Exhibition opening | World in the rucksack. 100 years of scientific expeditions

16:00 UT Natural History Museum
Vanemuise 46, Tartu, Estonia

The exhibition gives an overview of the beginnings of the Estonian school of natural science and its development over the last 100 years as seen through scientific expeditions. Through the contribution of nine scientists we can see how the materials and information collected during expeditions have given rise to ideas for preserving biodiversity and the natural environment. The travelling exhibition will be opened in the University of Tartu Natural History Museum on 27 November 2019.

28 November | Book presentation | Estonia’s National University 100

17:00

28 November | International conference | National-language universities in the globalising world

All day event
Conference hall of UT Library

Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania celebrated the 100th anniversary of their statehood in 2018. An independent nation-state needs to ensure the survival and development of its language in all areas of use, including higher education and research.
In 2019 we are celebrating the year of the Estonian language and the centenary of the beginning of the Estonian-language higher education in the Estonian national university. In our neighbouring countries, the provision of higher education in their native language was also clearly associated with the declaration of statehood. Will globalisation, digital revolution, market-economy values and open higher education space push the survival of cultures and languages to the background when priorities are set?

The conference looks back on the century of the Estonian, Latvian and Lithuanian higher education language, analyses the role of these three languages as languages of instruction, and possibilities of finding the point of balance between national-language and English-language higher education.

28 November | Presentation of the collection | Humanities in the 100-year-old national University

To mark the 100th anniversary of Estonia’s national university, the professors of the Faculty of Arts and Humanities publish a collection of articles (in Estonian), which gives an overview of the wide reach and internationally recognised high level of our arts and humanities researchers.

The collection includes both new and previously published papers, which have not been easily available to Estonian readers. Also the translations of selected papers by our new international professors are published. As our faculty is also the Faculty of Arts, the collection contains surprising works from the field of the arts.

The presentation takes place in cooperation with the conference “National-language universities in the globalising world”.

29 November | Opening of new permanent exhibition | Traces. Stories from my university

16:00 UT Museum, Morgenstern Hall
Lossi 25, Tartu, Estonia

The new exhibition dedicated to the centenary of Estonia’s national university will take the alumni to a nostalgic journey to the past, inspire today’s and future students and tell stories that concern even those people who have never had any affiliation with the university. Inspired by the interior of the historical library, the environment and gripping stories told over four centuries get intertwined with modern solutions.

Curators of the exhibition are Mariann Raisma, Lea Leppik, Terje Lõbu, Kristiina Tiideberg, Ken Ird, Virge Lell, Kaija-Liisa Koovit, Karoliina Kalda and Paula Põder. Designer: Mari Kurismaa

29 November | Anniversary stamp and coin presentation

University of Tartu
Ülikooli 18, Tartu, Estonia

30 November | Concert of music by Pärt Uusberg

15:00 Vanemuine Concert Hall 
Tartu, Estonia

The concert premieres the work by composer Pärt Uusberg (1986) “…ja tuulelaeval valgusest on aerud…” (“… windship with oars of light …”), dedicated to the 100th anniversary of the Estonian national university. Texts by Uku Masing and Kristian Jaak Peterson.

30 November | Torchlight procession

16:15 from Vanemuine Concert Hall to the Toome Hill

30 November | Light show | Vikerlaste varjuvald

17:30 in Cathedral ruins at Toome Hill
Tartu, Estonia

30 November | University of Tartu anniversary ball

20:00 Estonian National Museum
Muuseumi tee 2, Tartu, Estonia

1 December | Ceremony to mark the 100th anniversary of Estonia’s national University

12:00 University of Tartu Assembly Hall
Ülikooli 18, Tartu, Estonia

  • Anniversary lecture
  • Conferment of honorary doctorates and PhD degrees
  • Presentation of the university’s award for contribution to Estonian national identity

There is simultaneous interpretation into English at the ceremony.

Live webcast of the ceremony on www.uttv.ee

(With invitations)

1 December | Rector’s reception

15:00 UT Museum, White Hall
Lossi 25, Tartu, Estonia

With invitations

2–3 December | High-level seminar of the Coimbra Group | Universities as drivers of socio-academic integration in multilingual Europe

University of Tartu
Ülikooli 18, Tartu, Estonia

6 December | Conference | From serfdom to an Estonian-speaking university in 100 years

All day event
UT Museum
Lossi 25, Tartu, Estonia

The year 2019 is a year of several anniversaries. In 1819, serfdom was abolished and peasants were liberated in Livonia. One hundred years later, the Estonian-speaking university was founded, and exactly between those two events, in 1869, the first singing festival took place in Estonia. This rapid development from rural people into a cultural nation has not been fully interpreted yet in all its aspects. What steps had to be made along that journey? What were the successes and failures? The Learned Estonian Society and the University of Tartu Museum will discuss these themes at a conference on 6 December.

The conference is free and all those interested are welcome to participate.

6 December | Concert in Pärnu Concert Hall

18:00 Pärnu Concert Hall

The concert premieres the work by composer Pärt Uusberg (1986) “…ja tuulelaeval valgusest on aerud…” (“… windship with oars of light …”), dedicated to the 100th anniversary of the Estonian national university. Texts by Uku Masing and Kristian Jaak Peterson.

7 December | Anniversary of the Department of Geography | Geography in Estonia 100

All day event
Round auditorium, Vanemuise 46, Tartu

The teaching and learning of geography in Tartu started when the Estonian-speaking University of Tartu was opened in 1919. Geographers have a long tradition to celebrate the anniversary of their department during the second weekend in December.

In the anniversary year, the traditional scientific conference is held in the round auditorium of Vanemuise 46, followed by a gala in the Estonian National Museum in the evening.

7 December | Concert in Estonia Concert Hall

18:00 Estonia Concert Hall

The concert premieres the work by composer Pärt Uusberg (1986) “…ja tuulelaeval valgusest on aerud…” (“… windship with oars of light …”), dedicated to the 100th anniversary of the Estonian national university. Texts by Uku Masing and Kristian Jaak Peterson.

8 December | Dance show in Narva

18:00