University of Jyväskylä

University of Jyväskylä
Jyväskylän yliopisto
Latin: Universitas Jyväskyläensis
MottoAmica veritas
Motto in English
Truth is a friend
RectorKeijo Hämäläinen[1]
Academic staff
Administrative staff
Students15 000 (and 24000 adult education students)[3]
62°14′10.50″N 25°43′57.60″E / 62.2362500°N 25.7326667°E / 62.2362500; 25.7326667Coordinates: 62°14′10.50″N 25°43′57.60″E / 62.2362500°N 25.7326667°E / 62.2362500; 25.7326667
The main building Capitolium
Ylistönrinne campus
Mattilanniemi campus
Agora building at the Mattilanniemi campus
Ylistönrinne at winter
Seminaarinmäki campus
Agora building main entrance

The University of Jyväskylä (Finnish: Jyväskylän yliopisto) is a research university in Jyväskylä, Finland. It has its origins in the first Finnish-speaking Teacher Training College (the so-called Teacher Seminary), founded in 1863. Around 15,000 students are currently enrolled in the degree programs of the university.[4] It is ranked as the second largest university in Finland when measured according to the number of master's degrees conferred.[5]


Founded in 1863, the university has its origins in the first Finnish-speaking teacher training college, the so-called Teacher Seminary. The teacher seminary evolved into the College of Education in 1937, at which time it was given the authority to grant doctorate degrees. In the 1960s, the college started teaching and researching in the sciences and in 1967 was renamed the University of Jyväskylä.[citation needed]

The university offers a wide range of study programmes for bachelor's or master's degree conducted in English, many of which are unique in Finland. Natural Sciences, Human Sciences, Sports and Health Sciences as well as Teacher education are the university's areas of special expertise.


The University has 15,000 students in addition to its adult education students, representing 40,000 students in total. Each year over two thousand new students are admitted and generally only a seventh of applicants are accepted; this makes University of Jyväskylä one of the most popular and selective universities in Finland. Measured according to the number of master's degrees conferred, the University of Jyväskylä is ranked as the second largest university in Finland.


The University offers undergraduate and postgraduate degrees, teacher training programmes and over 120 subject area disciplines.

The university is currently divided into six faculties:

  • Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences
  • Faculty of Information Technology
  • Faculty of Education and Psychology
  • Faculty of Sport and Health Sciences
  • Faculty of Mathematics and Science
  • Jyväskylä University School of Business and Economics

Centres of Excellence[edit]

Centres of Excellence in Research nominated by the Academy of Finland:


  • Research on Ageing and Care (Coordinated by Jyväskylä)
  • Inverse Modelling and Imaging (Coordinated by Helsinki)
  • Game Culture Studies (Coordinated by Tampere)


  • Analysis and Dynamics Research (Universities of Helsinki and Jyväskylä)


  • Nuclear and Accelerator Based Physics (equipped with a cyclotron)
  • Biological Interactions Research
  • The Finnish Centre of Excellence in Inverse Problems (Universities of Helsinki and Jyväskylä)
  • History of a Society: Re-thinking Finland 1400‒2000 (Universities of Tampere and Jyväskylä)
  • Low Temperature Quantum Phenomena and Devices 2012-2017 (JYU together with Aalto University and VTT)
  • The Finnish Centre of Excellence in Inter-disciplinary Music Research

International cooperation in education[edit]

The University of Jyväskylä aims to offer its students the opportunity to study abroad and internationalisation at home. Therefore, the University of Jyväskylä is active in a variety of international programmes, such as the Lifelong Learning Programme, Nordplus, North-South-South Higher Education Exchange, FIRST and ISEP. The University has also concluded bilateral agreements on student exchange with 25 universities around the world. Altogether, the University is involved in student exchanges with more than 360 universities worldwide.


Aalto Campus, Main Building (1954-56)

The faculties and departments are mainly located on three campuses: the Main Campus area in the city centre - where the original Teacher Seminary has first started - as well as Mattilanniemi and Ylistönrinne Campuses on opposite shores of Lake Jyväsjärvi, united by a bridge, some 10 minutes walk from the Main Campus area.

Several buildings in the main campus area were designed by famous Finnish architect Alvar Aalto. Aalto received the commission to design the College of Education campus following a competition held in 1951. Aalto played on the idea of Jyväskylä's image among the town's inhabitants as it being the "Athens of the North", and layout of the campus reflects principles of Greek acropolis layouts. His scheme even included a Greek-style open-air theatre, though executed in minimal form.

Buildings in the campus area designed by Alvar Aalto:

  • Teachers Training School 1951-54
  • Staff housing 1951 (now offices of the Jyväskylä University Museum, Building G)
  • Student's Hall of Residence 1952-54 (Building Philologica, P)
  • Lozzi and Lyhty staff and student refectories (P)
  • Main Building 1954-56, Building C
  • Swimming Pool 1954-58, 1964, several alterations (called Aalto-Alvari)
  • Physical Education Building 1971
  • Library 1957 (now the Aalto Reading Room)

In 1969-70 an architectural competition was arranged for the design of new university campus sites at Mattilanniemi and Ylistönrinne. The competition was won by architect Arto Sipinen, who had previously worked in Aalto's office. Sipinen also designed new buildings for the main campus, including a new main library (1974).

Other institutes[edit]

Other institutes within the university include:

  • Kokkola University Consortium Chydenius
  • Institute for Educational Research
  • Language Centre
  • Open University
  • University Library University Museum

Student Union[edit]

The Student Union of the University of Jyväskylä (JYY) is the students’ very own organization. The basic task of the Student Union is to represent its members and protect their interests and rights at the University as well as in the surrounding society. All degree and exchange students enrolled in the University of Jyväskylä become members of the Student Union.


Kortepohja Student Village[edit]

Kortepohja Student Village is owned by the Student Union of the University of Jyväskylä. Kortepohja, located about 2.5 kilometres from the Main Campus and city centre, housing approximately 1900 students.

Central Finland Student Housing Foundation, KOAS[edit]

KOAS offers ca. 3900 apartments all around the Jyväskylä town area. The apartment buildings are conveniently located in the suburbs of Jyväskylä.

Notable people and alumni[edit]

Former rectors[edit]

See also[edit]


External links[edit]

Media related to University of Jyväskylä at Wikimedia Commons