Talk:University of Tartu

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
WikiProject Universities (Rated Start-class)
WikiProject icon This article is within the scope of WikiProject Universities, a collaborative effort to improve the coverage of universities and colleges on Wikipedia. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the discussion and see a list of open tasks.
Start-Class article Start  This article has been rated as Start-Class on the project's quality scale.
WikiProject Estonia (Rated C-class, Top-importance)
WikiProject icon University of Tartu is part of WikiProject Estonia, a project to maintain and expand Estonia-related subjects on Wikipedia. If you would like to participate, you can edit the article attached to this page, or visit the project page, where you can join the project and/or contribute to the discussion.
C-Class article C  This article has been rated as C-Class on the project's quality scale.
Checklist icon
 Top  This article has been rated as Top-importance on the project's importance scale.

Good job, Clossius! Andres 11:01, 14 Mar 2004 (UTC)


In 1893, the Russian (official) name of Tartu was changed from Derpt to Yuryev. The name of the university became Yuryevskii Imperatorskii Universitet.
To me, the names of the University in the article are not clear enough, as you cite just the names of the city. Andres 11:15, 14 Mar 2004 (UTC)
The University of Tartu is indeed called "national university" (rahvusülikool). But I suspect that formulated like that, the meaning is not clear enough. Probably this should be explained. Andres 11:27, 14 Mar 2004 (UTC)
I forgot to say that there is a concept of "the" national university, which is separate from the self-styled (and highly problematic) designation of Tartu as 'rahvusülikool, which also has some other implications and is perhaps something of an oxymoron, if not literally in Estonian. And I think TÜ is that, at least still for now.
I don't object but I think this needs explanation. For example, I don't know what this means. Does this imply that the University of Tartu is the only University in Estonia?
No I don't, but it clearly is the only full and all-encompassing university, because the Tallinn rectors and presidents in 1993 were all too vain to give up their fiefdoms and create a real University of Tallinn, more's the pity. TTU is a very serious research university in many if not most of their fields, only these are limited. I agree "national university" is a vague term, but it has to stay vague to be serviceable; if you'd insist on more explanation, I would replace it with some phrase like "the only classical university in EE" or some such.Clossius 06:39, 15 Mar 2004 (UTC)
Maybe you could just add "the only classical university in EE" to "national university". The University of Tallinn is coming, but without TTU. I think more explanations could be in the body of the article. Andres 08:37, 15 Mar 2004 (UTC)
You may add that if you want; I myself don't think it's necessary, so why should I do it, but you can. Tallinn U is not coming at all, except in name; TTU is i.m.h.o. the only serious university structure in Tallinn (excepting some specialized schools on the university level). Clossius 09:06, 15 Mar 2004 (UTC)
OK, I added it though I don't know if this is the best solution. Andres 10:55, 15 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Students and Professors[edit]

  • 1. On students and faculty, it's common to list those who are both only as faculty, which is why I deleted Marjustin from the student list and moved Kallas up (formal professor- and dotsentships). As regards Keres (and other cases that may come up), I think the biography article should then be updated as well and Tartu included.
OK, you are right. I was not aware that Kallas taught here, and did not notice him. I'll expand the article about Keres.
  • I moved Kraepelin from humanities to natural science, as he was a psychiatrist not a psychologist. (Psychiatry is supposed to be a part of medicine and as such a natural science.)


  • 2. I would stay with "Academia Gustaviana"; this is really how it was called, and the Charles addition only obscures (cf. Piirimäe & Co.)
The names were different, because Academia Gustaviana closed in Tartu in 1656 (and then worked in Tallinn until 1665). In 1690 it reopened as Academia Gustavo-Carolina (or Academia Gustaviana Carolina; I am at loss, I don't know which is right; after Carl XI). This is as much I know. I think

it would be better to cite the old names of the University inside the text, bold.

But in 1690 it was already in Pärnu, no? I thought thus that it might get too tricky. But ok.
No, it was in Tartu until 1699, then it went to Pärnu. I'll expand on this in the article.
If you get too detailed, you should write a separate entry on "pre-history" or "early history", which is why I kept this segment as succinct as possible. In the end, the Academy history is partially "constructed" (one might as well have taken the Jesuit grammar school); the serious history starts at 1802. That doesn't mean one shouldn't (eventually) be detailed about the Gustaviana, but not where people start to read about Tartu.Clossius 06:39, 15 Mar 2004 (UTC)
Yes, a separate entry about Academia Gustaviana could be created. On the other side, it would be more natural to start the article from the University of today, and give its history as a separate section. Then that prehistory would be a subsection. In the beginning it could only ne mentioned 1632 and 1802. Andres 08:37, 15 Mar 2004 (UTC)
I agree; after the first quick intro. (including the historical names to show those led here by reference that this is indeed Dorpat, etc.), there should come a brief characterization of today's TU, and then the history - and in such a case, of course, we could also leave and even expand the Academy times.Clossius 09:06, 15 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Names again[edit]

  • 3. I would always transliterate Jurjev, both in German and in English; why did you change it to Yuryev? The point is, in almost all literature on the field, and especially on the imprints of books that are likely to be read (Mattiesen, Acta et Commentationes etc.), it is spelled Jurjev, and thus people would look for that. I would if anything put a referral page to Yuryev and Univ. of Yuryev.

Clossius 11:35, 14 Mar 2004 (UTC)

The problem is that the transliterations of Юрьевъ are different. In Estonian it would be Jurjev, in German Jurjew, in English Yuryev. There are other transliteration systems, and an international one used in humanities renders ю as 'ju'. However, both in the English Wikipedia and

Britannica they write "Yuri" (Yuri Gagarin, Yuri Lotman as you yourself write).

I noticed that *smile*.

In Britannica, Tartu is Yuryev. (By the way, Zhirinovski just said that Tartu will be Yuryev after he becomes the Presidents by the next elections.) In Britannica, the former name of Tartu is cited as "Yuryev". There appears to be a cleavage between the scientific use and the common use. It is possible to cite both forms but probably better in the article Tartu.

Anyway, we should have redirection pages for both "University of Yuryev" and "University of Jurjev", since the title of the article is "University of Tartu". Then there will be no difficulty of finding, even when someone knows only the form Jurjev. Andres 13:23, 14 Mar 2004 (UTC)
Absolutely agree.
I made the redirection page for the form "University of Yuryev". Andres 20:01, 14 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Clarification and Deletion[edit]

I clarified "Baltic" to "Baltic German" (obviously it was not obvious, in spite of the context). There was a raving paragraph that I deleted in its entirety - in segments for the following reasons:

The university is also fairly well known among local scholars for its contradictive style in many respects, namely for calling itself the University of Tartu versus Tartu University, which is the name structure given to older universities. No one has ever heard of the University of Oxford.

Sheer nonsense - first, traditional universities named after places generally go by "University of X", and so the offical designation of Oxford is, as we can see here, University of Oxford and not "Oxford University". Second, and accordingly, Tartu Ülikool has always an exclusively called itself "University of Tartu"; "Tartu University" is occasionally used by outsiders or visitors who do not know the general nor the specific tradition.

This web page is another example, as it uses both American and British English.

Which website? This entry? This is very obviously not put up by TU.

While cheating is rampant throughout courses and exam sessions, the students still sport a highly arrogant face and the fraternities all wear Village People-style gay hats. One local fratboy dressed up as a woman once and now no one can speak to him for ninety-nine years.

Sheer malignance... somebody didn't get in, or what? Indeed, the Fraternity and Sorority system in Tartu can be criticized and questioned easily and fruitfully, but not this way in an encyclopedia entry.

Clossius 21:05, 10 Nov 2004 (UTC)


Estonian_University_of_Life_Sciences (former Estonian Academy of Agriculutre) was established in 1951 from two faculties of University of Tartu. Maybe this could be mentioned somewhere in history section. See on more recent collaboration of these universities. Lebatsnok 20:45, 13 January 2007 (UTC)

Former Eastern Europe?[edit]

The article currently says that TU is one of the highest ranking universities in "former Eastern Europe". I think what is intended here is something like the former Soviet Union or former communist bloc. "Eastern Europe" suggests a geographical indication and there is no reason to assume that geography has in fact changed (although the collective imagination of that geography may change, but that is a different discussion altogether). Anyone opposed to changing this? --Jeroenm (talk) 15:47, 3 November 2009 (UTC)


There is no source for the ranking of TU. The article mentions a high rank for the institution, so I suggest that a source for that information in crucial (otherwise this page is simply an advertisement). --Jeroenm (talk) 15:50, 3 November 2009 (UTC)

Second oldest - where?[edit]

In lead section: "...second oldest university in the region after Vilnius University". Which region? Baltic states? Surely Uppsala (15th century) is in "the region" too. For the Baltic states, being second oldest isn't much of an achievement. Perhaps a wider part of Eastern Europe, excluding Scandinavia, was meant? Or maybe it would rank high (although not 2nd) even taking Northen Europe. For now, I'm removing it. Anyone who knows better may restore it. Rain74 (talk) 19:39, 6 April 2010 (UTC)


I took out a part titled "Discrimination Lawsuit", that was added by person behind IP-aadress There has never been any big scandal on this and with just one newspaper article it could hardly be considered of anything important. Not to say that even the cited article claims, that according to university representatives the situation had nothing to do with ethnic discrimination and everything to do with the lack of skills and knowledge necessary for doctoral studies, that ended with expelling a student. There are no proofs that any discrimination ever took place - it just talks about the claims of one student. Unless university is charged of anything in this, there is absolutely no reason to even mention this obscure event. Ivo (talk) 15:17, 27 March 2016 (UTC)

The discrimination lawsuit again University of Tartu is relevant for Estonian society and international students that seek education in such University. The discrimination lawsuit against University of Tartu is well documented in the Essti Päevaleht newspaper and a discrimination case which has been admitted in Tartu district court. Just as University representatives deny the claims as it has been noted in the entry, the public opinion also has the right to know about the student's claims. Just because you do not like the fact it does not mean it does not have to be in Wikipedia. And is not true the discrimination lawsuit against University of Tartu is only one article thing. The matter was originally reported in the Eesti Päevaleht:

In Estonian national television:

And, in Postimes newspaper: — Preceding unsigned comment added by 2001:7D0:848B:E480:C4BC:598B:E8C4:C999 (talk) 19:07, 27 March 2016 (UTC)

Wikipedia isn't a place for unproven allegations to be submitted. Thousands of foreign students have studied / are studying in that university and if one former student makes claims of discrimination, then it could hardly be considered as a problem, that possible future students need to consider. If it would get proven, that it actually did happened, then we may talk about covering it here, but not now.
This is a major university in this region and each year thousands of articles related to it are being published. As I mentioned earlier, this is just one article (and versions of the exactly same text don't prove otherwise). Having a full section for this is by far out of proportion and agains Wikipedia's guidelines.
Are You that student? Someway it does seem so. Ivo (talk) 19:43, 27 March 2016 (UTC)
Wikipedia it is a place to make the public opinion aware of ongoing litigations as this is quite relevant to the Estonian society, prospect international students and the academic community in Tartu and in Estonia.
Whether one single claim of discrimination is a problem or not depends on the public opinion and not single individual removing entries in Wiki, freedom of speech goes both ways, including whether a full section is permissible or not.
I was a full time student and can assure that University of Tartu employees do discriminate international students based in national origin, color of skin and lack of Estonian ethnicity. For instance, the Russian minority does not even have a significant presence in terms of teaching and administrative staff and people in positions of power (Rector's office for instance) in University of Tartu staff in the several units. So University of Tartu does discriminate against anyone who is not Estonian national or ethnic Estonian, therefore the importance of the public opinion in Estonia and internationally to know about the ongoing discrimination lawsuit. — Preceding unsigned comment added by ExpatEstonia (talkcontribs) 09:01, 28 March 2016 (UTC)
It is relevant, but not (yet) important. Why I'm against it is because it is out of proportion, it hasn't found a lot of coverage and it is possibly damaging (and this last thing is unjustified because the claims are yet unproven, and therefor we should not treat the university as guilty -- let me remind you the presumption of innocence).
I'd start with this out of proportion part. How is this relevant to future foreign students? What kind of information may they get from this article? At first it should give some context (like how many foreign students there are, how are those numbers changing, what are they studying, what surveys show about their opinion about the university, etc) and then we may talk about the more exotic cases. I'm not saying that should be hidden. There might even be more problems, and if there are, then they should be brought out. But focusing on just that one screws to overall picture and adds little to the article. For instance based on this article I could claim, that overall picture is fairly positive and not what is now presented in the wikiarticle.
Amount of coverage is important as well, as if this (or whatever other random situation) brings us to a society wide discussion on some topic, then this instance is important (not because of happening, but because of what it brought with itself). It hasn't happened with this discrimination case. It may happen it the investigation proves allegations, but we are not in a position here, to assume it will happen. This would go agains neutrality we are so eagered to have in WP.
Your idea, that the Rector's office (or other leading positions) don't have the proportion of Russians same as in Estonian society, is very weak proof for any discrimination. Some examples. In reality there are more non-Estonians in the leading positions, than the % of them in the society. And as for Russians, then large % of them living in Estonia don't speak Estonian and smaller % of them have ever attended university than % of Estonians (i.e. the difference sure is there, but not because of the reason you are referring to). What I have witnessed is actually positive discrimination: when the language skills are low, then this fact is ignored (i.e. lower quality work is accepted), if the students are non-Estonians. Ivo (talk) 12:41, 28 March 2016 (UTC)
I expanded and updated some parts of the article correspondingly. But lot more should be done to provide decent coverage of the university. Ivo (talk) 13:33, 28 March 2016 (UTC)
As long as the situation in terms of diversity has not changed in the ground, then the discrimination lawsuit is relevant and should be on Wikipedia. The problem with any majority group being on the offensive side is that people belonging to such groups do not perceive the violations inflicted in minorities so one way for minorities to make a case is of course going to court and create wariness in the public opinion about relevant claims.
As an international student that graduated there I, would certainly have been interested in knowing of events like this. Not because the accusations are valid or not or because the presumption of innocence, but because certainly the University was not capable of handling the situation so the matter anded in court, which we all know was highly likely the case. This kind of situations do not end in court without warning and for no reason. Something that is quite relevant is that the student is being supported by the Estonian Human Rights center. I do not think such prestigious Estonian non-profit is just gambling with the case, the matter certainly is of the interest of public opinion as it clearly demonstrates that the University was not able to deal with the situation so the whole thing blew up and ended in court, that is certainly a fact. — Preceding unsigned comment added by ExpatEstonia (talkcontribs) 11:32, 29 March 2016 (UTC)
As the student was found to be incapable of performing at anticipated lever of skills and was asked to continue the studies in Masters instead of Doctorate (what he does now), then naming it an ethnic discrimination is rather misleading. And anyone could at any time go to court. That does not prove a thing. Ivo (talk) 13:12, 29 March 2016 (UTC)
Just as the University has the right to deny any discrimination so the student about "found to be incapable of performing at anticipated lever of skills and was asked to continue the studies in Masters instead of Doctorate". So why would what the University claims be valid and not what the student claims? Quite a contradiction here. — Preceding unsigned comment added by ExpatEstonia (talkcontribs) 18:44, 29 March 2016 (UTC)
There is no contradiction. If you have studied in university then you should know already by the empirical knowledge that usually it is the university that is right and the student the one that is either lazy or stupid or both if there is a question about the missing skillset. Ivo (talk) 20:39, 29 March 2016 (UTC)
There should be a distinction between two questions: whether this topic is of public interest or importance(which it most likely is) and whether it is true. In this case the topic is about alleged discrimination. One side says it is, the other says it isn't. Since there is a lawsuit, it is up to the court to find out the truth. If Wikipedia has any allegiance to truth, then it should avoid stating whether it is or it isn't a case of discrimination. This is an issue of objectivity and truth.
Secondly, if proportion is discussed, then all other discrimination cases in other universities should be taken as a reference point. If all the discrimination cases of other universities are reported on their Wiki-pages as well, then this case isn't out of proportion. If other university Wikipedia sites do not cover discrimination cases, then this is out of proportion. It is a question of editing principles and treating all the cases equally.
Thirdly, it should be considered that this allegation of discrimination affects the reputation of the University and is potentially damaging. If these allegations are not true, then this damage to university's reputation is unjust. As long as this information is public and the allegations haven't been proven, this information continues to harm the university. The usual way of reporting court cases is considerate of the case and does not usually accuse the charged person openly till the court ruling. This is a case of potential defamation.
To conclude: to avoid unjust harm, this piece of information should be withheld till the court ruling which might take some time. If it wasn't a case of discrimination, then unnecessary harm is avoided. If it was a case of discrimination, it should be openly published here. Since Wikipedia is an encyclopedia and not a daily newspaper, it should avoid or minimize covering disputable issues as long as they are cleared up.
2001:7D0:4342:E102:B1F2:3857:9C25:6A15 (talk) 12:38, 5 April 2016 (UTC)
It is okay for Wikipedia to report on unproven allegations as long as they are relevant and are stated not in Wikipedia's tone, but as an allegation, since that would be stating a fact and not an opinion. (It's a fact that the University has been accused of discrimination, and it's okay to say that as long as we don't say that they are actually guilty of said discrimination.)Since the dispute appears notable, it should be covered somewhere as long as it is WP:IMPARTIAL.Moist Towels (talk) 02:43, 13 April 2016 (UTC)
As an Estonian I'd have to say that it isn't notable at all. It has only received one article (+ few variances of the same text) and absolutely no discussion has followed. No-one believes university did anything wrong and unless it's proven, then no-one will care about that issue. For any university with that many students it's natural, that sometimes it gets sued for something. I've not noticed that other WP articles about universities cover that kind of obscure cases. So why should this one? Ivo (talk) 10:21, 13 April 2016 (UTC)
  • I agree that coverage of this is WP:UNDUE, it should be removed. --Nug (talk) 19:09, 13 April 2016 (UTC)
For Estonians it may be a huge embarrassment that their apartheid (anti Russian) National University is being sued for discrimination. Whether the topic is relevant or not is up to the audience and the interested parties. Given that the lawsuit made it to court and go TV coverage from the main TV broadcaster in Estonia it is definitively relevant to the public opinion. I wonder why coverage from the main TV broadcaster can not be classified as "isn't notable". Obviously Estonians due to the huge embarrassment are not going to talk about it, just as VW employees in Wolfsburg, Germany did not want to talk about the VW emissions scandal when TV reporters approached people there for an opinion. This is what the Estonian public opinion wants, relevant issue like rampant discrimination in major Universities to be concealed so the story dies out and everyone keeps going with the Estonian racism-status-quo. Fortunately, there is the wonders of the Internet that keep relevant facts to the public opinion persisted and visible to everyone. Internet is the democratization of Information and Wikipedia is absolutely no exception. ExpatEstonia (talk) 14:26, 14 April 2016 (UTC)
Troll like you should be blocked from editing. ERR publishes something like 70-100 articles per day and arguing that each and every one of them is hugely important is BS, and you know it well. Just like you know, that this is one random case without any bigger importance whatsoever. But nevertheless you try to bring in your out personal agenda. Ivo (talk) 19:08, 15 April 2016 (UTC)
As long as the lawsuit is ongoing the public opinion has the right to know, like it it or not.ExpatEstonia (talk) 12:20, 17 April 2016 (UTC)
Wikipedia is an encyclopedia and not a news site. It's about a time to understand it. Stuff like that is not suitable for Wikipedia. Ivo (talk) 22:05, 17 April 2016 (UTC)
The public opinion has the right to know.ExpatEstonia (talk) 07:12, 25 April 2016 (UTC)
Right to know what? That one student has once sued that university? This isn't the only student who has suid university. It isn't the first instance in Tartu nor this is unheard of in other universities. The fact itself is not notable enough to be included in the article. Over the hundreds of years of history there have been far over hundred thousand students studying in this university. If you think one of them has been so important, that he deserves a separete topic on his own, then it's you, who have no idea how to distinguish important from unimportant. If it's a know fact, that there are problems in topic x, then we might need to write about it. But making a reference to some unproven allegations and saying that this is extremely important is just total BS. This isn't a yellow newspaper here. Wikipedia isn't here to inform public (there are newspapers, radio and tv for this). Our job here is to cover what is important and avoid covering unimportant topics. Ivo (talk) 08:41, 25 April 2016 (UTC)