University of Tampere

Top Player in Social Sciences in Finland

A nearly 90-year old multidisciplinary Finnish university. Founded in Helsinki in 1925.

The most popular university in Finland as evidenced by the most applicants per place.

Former Rector Paavo Koli was the first ASLA scholar (Fulbright program is known as the ASLA-Fulbright program in Finland) to leave the University of Tampere for the United States in 1950.

Has six FiDiPro Professors in 2013 (Finland Distinguished Professor Programme): Stephen J. Bailey, Roger W. Beuerman, George Steven Bova, Dan Hultmark, Laurie Kaguni and Hans Lilja.


Figures from 2012

  • 16,000 students
  • 2,200 staff
  • 1,200 Master’s degrees
  • 120 doctoral degrees
  • 600 international degree students
  • 14 English language Master’s Programs


Nine Schools

  • Institute of Biomedical Technology
  • School of Communication, Media and Theatre
  • School of Education
  • School of Health Sciences
  • School of Information Sciences
  • School of Language, Translation and Literary Studies
  • School of Management
  • School of Medicine
  • School of Social Sciences and Humanities


University of Tampere

The University of Tampere has a strong reputation in social sciences and education, including political and administrative sciences.

Health sciences are another focal point of the University and comprise medical training, education in health and nursing sciences, and the emerging field of biomedicine.

“We are strong in social and health sciences and leading research and education in these fields in Finland,” says Harri Melin, Vice-Rector at the University of Tampere.

Comparing Social Systems in North American and Nordic Countries

Professor Katri Sieberg teaches students in the North American Studies Program at the University of Tampere. The program combines political science and economics, and investigates research on the United States, Canada and Mexico. At the core of the program is the comparison of welfare regimes in these countries with those of the Nordic countries.

“There are huge differences between social systems in the Nordic countries and the United States,” Sieberg says.

Sieberg came to Finland as a Fulbright scholar from the United States ten years ago. Her roots are in Finland, but her greatgreat-grandparents emigrated to the United States.

“Our third child was born here. She is really proud of it and says that she is the only true Tampere native in our family,” Sieberg laughs.

Sieberg says that Finns are intelligent and active students.

“You can go much deeper into things because they are such quick learners. I see a lot of joy in the students here – they learn because they are enthusiastic.”

Generating Human Spare Parts from Stem Cells

In the field of biomedicine, the University of Tampere joined forces with Tampere University of Technology and founded the Institute of Biomedical Technology, or BioMediTech.

One of the key projects in BioMediTech is the Human Spare Parts research program which is aiming to build ‘spare parts’ to replace damaged or degenerate body parts. Nearly a hundred researchers and experts are working on creating new cell and tissue technology.

“The Human Spare Parts program is researching and developing technologies that will enable us to generate bone and maybe even neural tissue grafts grown from the patient’s own tissue,” says Program Manager Juho Väisänen.

The aim of the research is to be able to remedy, for example, the neural tissue in an injured spinal cord, or challenging damages to facial bones. Other outstanding medical research at the University includes research on vaccines, mitochondrial genetics, cancer and cardiovascular diseases.

Developing Research and Reforming Education

In recent years, the University of Tampere has been strengthening its profile as a research university. At the same time, the University has undertaken a large-scale educational reform.

“We were the first university in Finland to adopt wide-ranging degree programs in our key fields. Many small degree programs were combined into comprehensive Bachelor’s Programs,” says Vice-Rector Harri Melin.

“We are pioneers in educational reform in Finland.”

Disciplinary boundaries have been coming down with this reform – cooperation between different scientific fields is increasing, and there are growing numbers of multidisciplinary research projects. Internationalization is an aim in both education and research.

Melin can think of several good reasons why it would be worthwhile for researchers to come to the University of Tampere: “If you are into high-standard medical research, research on Nordic society or Russia, communication and information sciences or humantechnology interaction, Tampere is the right university for you.”

“And if you like four distinct seasons annually, that is another reason to come to Tampere,” Melin recommends.


Text: Tiina Lankinen
Photos: Jonne Renvall


14.3.2013: Tampereen yliopistoon Fulbright-professuuri