About the Åbo Akademi University Foundation - Stiftelsen för Åbo Akademi

About the Åbo Akademi University Foundation

For over 100 years the Åbo Akademi University Foundation has created a future by supporting scientific research, academic education and culture in Swedish in Finland. The main purpose of our activities is to support Åbo Akademi University. In addition, we maintain and fund institutes, museums and establishments within the fields of research and culture, and maintain and deposit book, art and scientific collections. We own, administer, let and develop properties, buildings and flats, which contribute to our main goals. We award prizes, contributions, scholarships and grants according to our statutes.

The Foundation aims for all its activities to be characterised by social responsibility, openness, quality and sustainability.

Our foundation is a member of the Association of Finnish Foundations, and we follow the code of conduct Best Practice for Foundations.

We exist thanks to the commitment of private individuals

The Åbo Akademi University Foundation was founded on 18 June 1917 with a starting capital of 3.47 million Finnish marks, donated by 35 private individuals. The yield of the donated capital was to be used to establish and maintain a university in Åbo (the city of Turku) named Åbo Akademi, with Swedish as its teaching language. The Åbo Akademi University was established in 1918 and was operated according to the principles contained in the Foundation’s statutes, without any support from the state or the city of Turku up to the mid-1950s. In 1956 Åbo Akademi received its first state grant corresponding to four per cent of the university’s total budget. Starting from 1963, the grant was paid as a statutory state subsidy. In the period 1970–1981, the state subsidy amounted to 75 per cent of the running expenses of the university.

In 1981, the Åbo Akademi University was nationalized, as the last private university in Finland. The foundation and the university were then legally and financially separated and the Åbo Akademi University Foundation was given new statutes and a new role. The legal position of the Åbo Akademi University changed once again as the new Finnish Universities Act came into force on 1 January 2010; Åbo Akademi then gained an independent legal status as a corporation subject to public law. The Foundation has continued to support Åbo Akademi in accordance with the 1981 agreement with the Finnish Government. Today we are one of Finland’s largest foundations, to a big extent owing to donations to the foundation.