The first university in Finland, the Royal Academy of Turku, was established in 1640. It was at that time the northernmost university in the world and served the Lutheran Kingdom of Sweden mainly by educating priests for it.
The author reflects on the reasons for the establishment of this university by analysing the contents of the Charter granted by the then regency. The story continues by describing the inauguration of the Academy of Turku, which was called “God’s greatest good deed since the creation of the world”. The chapter examines the beginnings of the new academy by focussing on its first professors, rules and regulations (statutes), and the governing bodies of the University of Turku: the consistory, the rector, and the chancellor.
The author describes the governance structure of the Royal Academy of Turku, which was identical to that of the other universities of the Kingdom of Sweden. The statutes contained detailed regulations on the curriculum and education. They also outlined the privileges of the Royal Academy of Turku. These included exemption from taxes and from lodging soldiers. In addition, the university was entitled to its own chancellor and had the right to award degrees.
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The Swedish name for Turku is Åbo. In Finland, most cities have both Finnish and Swedish names, because (present-day) Finland is a bilingual country, with Finnish and Swedish as its two main official languages. In this book, for the sake of clarity, I will only use the Finnish names. Thus, the Royal Academy of Åbo, the name by which the institution was originally called, is referred to either as the Royal Academy of Turku or the University of Turku.
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Välimaa, J. (2019). The Founding of the Royal Academy of Turku. In: A History of Finnish Higher Education from the Middle Ages to the 21st Century. Higher Education Dynamics, vol 52. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-20808-0_5
Publisher Name: Springer, Cham
Print ISBN: 978-3-030-20807-3
Online ISBN: 978-3-030-20808-0