University of Oulu

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University of Oulu
Oulun yliopisto
University of Oulu logo.jpg
Latin: Universitas Ouluensis
RectorJouko Niinimäki
Administrative staff
2,900 (2018)
Students13,000 (2018)
65°03′33″N 025°27′58″E / 65.05917°N 25.46611°E / 65.05917; 25.46611Coordinates: 65°03′33″N 025°27′58″E / 65.05917°N 25.46611°E / 65.05917; 25.46611


University of Oulu main building in Linnanmaa, Oulu.
Departments of Electrical Engineering, Computer Science and Engineering and Telecommunications Engineering in the Linnanmaa campus.
Faculty of Humanities located at the northern end of the university building.
Oulu University Pegasus Library (former Main Library) in Linnanmaa.
Old part of the Linnanmaa campus.
Oulu University Hospital buildings in Kontinkangas, Oulu, where the Faculty of Medicine is located. The heliport of the hospital in the foreground.
Oulu University Botanical Gardens.

The University of Oulu (Finnish: Oulun yliopisto) is one of the largest universities in Finland, located in the city of Oulu. It was founded on July 8, 1958. The university has around 13,000 students and 2,900 staff.[1] 21 International Master's Programmes are offered at the university.[2] The university is often ranked as one of the better universities in Finland and in the top-400 worldwide.[3][4]


  • 1919 Oulu College Association was founded to manage the establishment of a university in the town
  • 1958 Oulu University Act
  • 1959 Activities begin. Faculty of Philosophy (programs in biology and mathematics), Faculty of Technology (architecture, civil and industrial engineering) and Oulu Teaching School
  • 1960 Faculty of Medicine
  • 1965 Teaching begins in humanities
  • 1965 Departments of Electrical Engineering and Machine Engineering added to the Faculty of Technology
  • 1972 The Faculty of Humanities and the Faculty of Natural Sciences founded with the division of the Faculty of Philosophy
  • 1974 Faculty of Education
  • 1985 Professorship in Telecommunications Technology established at the Faculty of Technology
  • 1994 Biotechnology, Information Technology and Northern Issues defined as focus areas
  • 2000 Founding of the Faculty of Economics and Business Administration
  • 2006 Micro- and Nanotechnology Centre
  • 2007 Oulu Mining School
  • 2008 Martti Ahtisaari Institute of Global Business and Economics
  • 2009 Center for Internet Excellence (CIE)
  • 2010 New University Act, new focus areas
  • 2011 Center of Microscopy and Nanotechnology founded by joining the Micro- and Nanotechnology Centre and the Institute for Electron Microscopy
  • 2011 University of Oulu Graduate School (from 1.8.2011)
  • 2014 Faculty of Biochemistry and Molecular Medicine (from 1.1.2014)
  • 2014 Faculty of Information Technology and Electrical Engineering (from 1.1.2014)
  • 2014 Oulu School of Architecture (from 1.1.2014)


There are two campus areas:[5]

  • The main campus is located in Linnanmaa, about 5 kilometres (3 mi) north of Oulu city centre. It includes six faculties, four focus institutes, Botanical Gardens and Museum, and university library Pegasus, and Tellus Innovation Arena.
  • Faculty of Medicine and Biochemistry and Molecular Medicine are located at the Kontinkangas Campus 2 kilometres (1.2 mi) southeast from the city center, Kontinkangas, Oulu. Oulu University Hospital, Medical Research Centre (MRC) and Biocenter Oulu are also located there.[6]

The University has a number of research units and shared locations. In Linnanmaa Campus there are:

Elsewhere in Northern Finland:


The University of Oulu is divided into eight faculties

International Cooperation[edit]

The University of Oulu aims to promote mobility among its students. It takes part in a number of international exchange programmes, such as Erasmus Programme (Europe), Nordplus (Nordic Countries), FIRST (Russia), ISEP and International to International ISEP (USA, South America, Asia), UNC-EP (USA), north2north (USA, Canada, Russia, Nordic Countries), North-South-South (Africa). Besides, the University of Oulu has about 50 bilateral agreements with partner universities around the world.[7]


University works in 70 research areas.[8] There are five research focus areas which are coordinated by four focus institutes.[9]

Focus Area Focus Institute
Molecular and environmental basis for lifelong health Biocenter Oulu
Understanding humans in change Eudaimonia Institute
Digital solutions in sensing and interactions Infotech Oulu
Creating sustainability through materials and systems Kvantum Institute
Earth and near-space system and environmental change

About 60 invention disclosures are done yearly from the University of Oulu. The university has also served as a birthing place for over 60 research-based companies.[10]

Academic Rankings and Statistics[edit]

The University of Oulu has been consistent in gender equality securing a ratio of 53 men to 47 women.[11] The University has also consistently increased in citation per faculty ratio over the years, with positive increases each year.[12]

The University of Oulu has experienced fallback on international rankings like the QS Top 500 Universities list. The University of Oulu has fallen from spot #253 in 2014, sitting in spot #392 in 2023.[13] The University lost its position in Finland's top 5 University lists according to the rankings, overtaken by University of Jyväskylä and Lappeenranta-Lahti University of Technology. However, the future looks bright for University of Oulu as it has been recovering its place in the world rankings.

The University of Oulu still remains in the top 3% of Universities globally, and is a popular option for international students who want to study and work in Finland, and is a respected and often cited institution of higher education in Finland. The University of Oulu is a popular University for domestic applicants due to their large number of programs and well kept institutions.

In the year 2022, The University of Oulu received 17,667 domestic applications, and accepted 2,497 new students, making the University's 2022 domestic acceptance rate 14%. Because of this, The University of Oulu is a competitive university to get accepted into.[14]

Notable alumni[edit]

President Martti Ahtisaari, founder of CMI and recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize in 2008.

University of Oulu alumni body is over 55,000.[17]

Student services[edit]

Student Union of the University of Oulu[18] (Finnish: Oulun yliopiston ylioppilaskunta; OYY) provides services to and supervises the interests of all undergraduate degree students in the University of Oulu. All bachelor's and master's degree students at the University of Oulu belong to the Student Union. By paying the Student Union membership fee, students are entitled to a student card which allows them to get student services and discounts. This way, students get inexpensive or free medical and dental care from Finnish Student Health Services,[19] (Finnish: Ylioppilaiden terveydenhoitosäätiö; YTHS) traveling discounts in trains and buses, student meals reduction, etc.

There are a number of students organizations or so-called student guilds[20] presented within the University.

The international student house Aurora.

Student housing[edit]

Student Housing Foundation of Northern Finland[21] (Finnish: Pohjois-Suomen opiskelija-asuntosäätiö; PSOAS) is the leading provider of student accommodation in Oulu. The organization operates on a foundation basis which ensures affordable rents for students. Following its mission, PSOAS offers housing services for people studying in Oulu as economically as possible. The residents of PSOAS houses in different areas around the city elect tenant committee for that area, which e.g. organises different activities, maintains club rooms and does other related issues, depending on the active members.[22]

The new international student house, named Aurora, was built next to PSOAS housing office in downtown Oulu. The building was finished during the spring of 2013. The house is supposed to be accommodated both by international degree students and Finnish students. The main purpose of the new building is to support the internationalization of Oulu and give the international students better access to Finnish culture and local people. The premises will also support these efforts: More space is dedicated for casual get-togethers, as there is a lounge space on every floor and a café of high level will be serving both Finnish and foreign customers on the ground floor.[23][24]

The International Student Barometer 2019 ranked the University of Oulu first in the world when it comes to internet access and sixth in overall life satisfaction.[25]


Jouko Niinimäki 2015–
Lauri Lajunen 1993–2015
Juhani Oksman 1990–1993
L. Kalevi Korhonen 1987–1990
Markku Mannerkoski 1968–1987
Erkki Koiso-Kanttila 1965–1968
Niilo Söyrinki 1963–1965
Pentti Kaitera 1959–1962

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "University". Retrieved 2019-05-03.
  2. ^ "International Master's Programmes". Retrieved 2019-05-03.
  3. ^ "Academic Ranking of World Universities 2009". Shanghai Jiao Tong University. Archived from the original on 2013-03-23. Retrieved 2010-06-21.
  4. ^ "THE - QS World University Rankings". QS Quacquarelli Symonds Limited. Retrieved 2014-12-30.
  5. ^ "Campuses". Retrieved 2019-05-03.
  6. ^ "Oulu: Kontinkangas campus". Suomen Yliopistokiinteistöt Oy. 2018-02-15. Retrieved 2019-05-03.
  7. ^ "University of Oulu: UniOulu Globe". University of Oulu: UniOulu Globe. Retrieved 2019-05-17.
  8. ^ "University of Oulu – An international scientific community known for high-quality research and education". Innovation Europe. Archived from the original on 2011-07-26. Retrieved 2010-06-22.
  9. ^ "Research Units". Retrieved 2019-05-10.
  10. ^ "Startup-companies". Retrieved 2019-05-10.
  11. ^ "University of Oulu". Times Higher Education (THE). 2021-12-17. Retrieved 2022-07-19.
  12. ^ "University of Oulu". Top Universities. Retrieved 2022-07-19.
  13. ^ "University of Oulu". Top Universities. Retrieved 2022-07-19.
  14. ^ Kokko, Outi (2022-07-08). "Näihin korkeakouluihin on vaikeinta päästä – kahteen paikan sai vain yksi hakija kymmenestä". Ilta-Sanomat (in Finnish). Retrieved 2022-08-03.
  15. ^ "Martti Ahtisaari wins Nobel Peace Prize". Oulu: University of Oulu. 10 October 2008. Archived from the original on 4 December 2010. Retrieved 21 June 2010.
  16. ^ "Obituary: Professor Leena Peltonen-Palotie, Academician of Science". Oulu: University of Oulu. 12 March 2010. Retrieved 21 June 2010.
  17. ^ "Alumni". Retrieved 2019-05-09.
  18. ^ Student Union of the University of Oulu Archived 2010-07-03 at the Wayback Machine
  19. ^ Finnish Student Health Services Archived 2010-07-09 at the Wayback Machine
  20. ^ "Student Guilds and Organisations in the University of Oulu". Oulu: Student Union of the University of Oulu. 2 July 2009. Archived from the original on September 25, 2010. Retrieved 4 October 2010.
  21. ^ Student Housing Foundation of Northern Finland
  22. ^ "Tenant committees ‹ to tenants – PSOAS". Archived from the original on 2013-08-13. Retrieved 2013-07-16.
  23. ^ "Accommodation". Oulu: University of Oulu. Retrieved 21 June 2010.
  24. ^ "Kohdeluettelo ‹ Kohteet – PSOAS". Archived from the original on 2013-06-29. Retrieved 2013-07-16.
  25. ^ ""When we're talking about international students we need to think globally" – University of Oulu does well in Finland, but needs to do more to beat international competitors". Oulun ylioppilaslehti (in Finnish). 2019-04-18. Retrieved 2019-05-17.

External links[edit]