Tallinn University

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Tallinn University
Tallinna Ülikool
Logo of Tallinn University
Motto Thinking unlimited!
Established 2005
Type Public
President Tiit Land
Academic staff
Students 10 016
Undergraduates 5901 (2014)
Postgraduates 2789 (2014)
370 (2014)
Location Tallinn, Harju County, Estonia
59°26′19″N 24°46′17″E / 59.43861°N 24.77139°E / 59.43861; 24.77139Coordinates: 59°26′19″N 24°46′17″E / 59.43861°N 24.77139°E / 59.43861; 24.77139
Mascot Eksmati
Affiliations EUA, UNICA
Website www.tlu.ee

Tallinn University (TU) (Estonian: Tallinna Ülikool (TLÜ)) is the third-largest institution of higher education in Estonia. It is in Tallinn, the capital city of Estonia. Despite the similar names, Tallinn University and Tallinn University of Technology are separate institutions.


Tallinn University was established on 18 March 2005 as the result of a merger of several universities and research institutes in Tallinn: Academic Library of Estonia (1946), Baltic Film and Media School (1992/97), Estonian Institute of Humanities (1988), Institute of History (1946) and Tallinn Pedagogical University (1919/52/92). Its main strengths lie in the fields of humanities and social sciences, but it also has a strong and constantly growing component of natural and exact sciences, as well as a long tradition of teacher training and educational research.

Tallinn University today[edit]

Tallinn University is an innovative and academically enriching university. It is acknowledged both locally and internationally for its role as a centre for science and education.

The mission of Tallinn University is to support the sustainable development of Estonia through research and its application to academic partnership, including the preparation of intellectuals as well as public dialogue in order to facilitate this partnership.

The university incorporates of 19 academic institutes and 6 colleges, in which study and research is conducted in six different disciplines:

  • Educational sciences
  • Humanities
  • The Arts
  • Natural sciences
  • Social sciences
  • Health sciences

TU has more than 10 000 students, from whom around 700 are foreigners (from 54 countries worldwide) and 1200 faculty members and research fellows, from whom 9,4% are foreigners (from 20 different countries worldwide).


Mare building
Silva building
Ursa building

Tallinn University' s main campus buildings are known by their Latin names. These names symbolize different values that are important to the university.

Terra (Latin: the earth – represents long academic traditions and the setting of standards for oneself) is the main and oldest building in Tallinn University; it was built for the Tallinn English College in 1938. The building is under heritage protection (architects Alar Kotli and Erika Nõva).

Nova (Latin: new – represents revitalization and progressive development) is a home for Baltic Film and Media School. It includes everything necessary for lectures and practical work: individual and group work rooms, lecture halls, a film studio, a television studio, sound studios, a cinema, a computer class and editing rooms. The building was completed in 2012, designed by architects Karli Luik, Maarja Kask and Ralf Lõoke.

Mare (Latin: a sea – represents freedom and openness) is spacious and full of light; it was designed to allow sunlight to reach 80% of the rooms. The building was completed in 2006; the architects were Mattias Agabus, Eero Endjärv, Raul Järg, Priit Pent and Illimar Truverk.

Astra (Latin: a star – represents the relentless pursuit and achievement of goals) is the latest addition to the university. This building is symbolized by laboratories. The building was designed by Ignar Fjuk and completed in 2012.

Silva (Latin: a forest – represents researchers and scientists – like the forest giants, they are upright pillars of society) was completed in 1982 and is a typical example of Soviet architecture. Designed by the architect Ester Liiberg.

Ursa (Latin: a bear – represents fierce determination to defend one’s ideas), built in 1964, hides in the university courtyard. The university people know its stories only superficially, because for years the military study department was located in this building. Later, during some building work, a real life-size tank was removed from the building. Presently the Arts Department is located in this building.


One of the main aims of the university is large-scale internationalisation. With its academic degree programmes and a number of shorter programmes and courses offered in the English language, it is about to become the most international university in the Baltic area. Tallinn University currently maintains over 50 inter-university agreements with universities in Europe, U.S., Japan, China, Russia, and several other countries as well over 600 Erasmus exchange agreements with universities from all over the European Union. The university also organises Summer and Winter Schools (Tallinn Summer School, Tallinn Winter School), which host about 300 participants from 50 countries every year.

Bachelor's programmes in English[edit]

Master's programmes in English[edit]

Short courses[edit]


Academic institutes[edit]


External links[edit]