University of Tartu Pärnu College is celebrating its 25th anniversary

This year marks a quarter of a century since the opening of the Pärnu College of the University of Tartu. On 14 May, this milestone is celebrated with a ceremony, an appreciation event and giving recognition, with presentations and discussion groups, and the symbolic opening of a part of the college building that has been newly renovated for a joint project.

The history of the University of Tartu Pärnu College dates back centuries: Academia Pernaviensis, the predecessor of the University of Tartu, operated in Pärnu from 1699 to 1710. After Estonia regained independence, in 1991–1996, education was provided at Pärnu School of Economics, and the University of Tartu Pärnu College was founded on 17 May 1996. In February 1999, the first part of the college’s academic building was opened.

According to Garri Raagmaa, Director of the University of Tartu Pärnu College, the college has become one of the key institutions of the city and county of Pärnu. “Our staff members are currently involved in preparing nearly all strategic plans in the region, as well as represented in local decision-making bodies. They participate in media discussions and diverse cooperation with other schools, enterprises and institutions. The city and region have greatly benefited from the presence of the university,” he said.

The events of the 25th anniversary start on 14 May at Pärnu College. The part of the college building that was renovated within the Kobar project is opened at noon. Kobar is a joint project of Pärnu County Development Centre, Pärnu City Government and the University of Tartu, with the goal to concentrate the county’s main development and cooperation organisations into Pärnu College to enhance the development of entrepreneurship, the creation of new creative and innovative businesses and the training of professionals. Pärnu County Development Centre and the business incubator will move into the newly renovated rooms.

The festive opening ceremony will be followed by presentations about the past and the future of the college, as well as discussions and an appreciation event. The Golden Star award of the Pärnu College is presented to a person who has significantly contributed to the development of the college by their outstanding activities. Also, the student of the year, the lecturer of the year, the visiting lecturer of the year and the support staff member of the year are announced.

Due to pandemic restrictions, only invited guests and pre-registered journalists are expected to participate. However, all the events are webcast live by the video portal of the University of Tartu UTTV.

On the birthday of the college on 17 May at 10:00, three oak-trees will be planted on the slope of Pärnu Vallikäär to mark the location of Academia Pernaviensis in the former castle. The anniversary party is planned to be held on 8 September, at the time of the opening ceremony of the new academic year.

A detailed programme of the anniversary events can be found on the college website. Read also about the Kobar project.

Further information:
Garri Raagmaa, Director of University of Tartu Pärnu College, +372 527 8899, (for interviews)
Külli Laanepõld, Assistant to the Director of University of Tartu Pärnu College, +372 527 3162, (questions about organisation of the anniversary)
Merle Einola, Public Health and Safety Coordinator at Pärnu County Development Centre, Kobar Project Manager, +372 5566 7906, (questions about Kobar project)