Photo:
Andres Tennus

New academic year of the University of Tartu starts with a student demonstration

On Monday, 29 August at 10, the opening ceremony of the 2022/2023 academic year takes place in front of the University of Tartu main building, and 4,530 new students join the university family. At the event, the president of the Student Union invites everyone to rally in support of higher education funding. The ceremony can also be watched live on UTTV

On the occasion of the start of the academic year, students will be greeted by Rector Toomas Asser, Minister of Education and Research Tõnis Lukas, Mayor of Tartu Urmas Klaas, President of the University of Tartu Student Union Katariina Sofia Päts and a first-year student of Semiotics and Culture Studies Emma Lotta Lõhmus. Tartu Academic Male Choir will perform, led by conductor Kuno Kerge, and also the mascot Tiksu will be present. 

This autumn, 4,530 new students start their studies, including 2,757 at the first level of higher education, 1,608 in master's studies and 165 in doctoral studies. In total, there are 15,210 students at the University of Tartu, including 9,260 at the first level of higher education, 4,720 in master's studies and 1,230 in doctoral studies. 

According to Katariina Sofia Päts, President of the University of Tartu Student Union, this opening ceremony is different because higher education funding is in crisis. "It is time for students to take the lead and show their feelings about the situation. I invite everybody to participate in the demonstration #bringyourcoins. When coming to the ceremony, bring a handful of coins so we could jingle them together on cue during the last speech. Let us show that we are done waiting, that higher education urgently needs a big financial injection and that we are even ready to beg in the name of the university and studies," said Päts. 

Aune Valk, Vice Rector for Academic Affairs of the University of Tartu reminds new students about the nature of the university family and the importance of future skills. "As new members of the university family, it is important for you to remember that you are not passive consumers of knowledge, but active participants in the creation of new knowledge," emphasised the vice rector.  

"In addition to the wider university family, you will hopefully also find yourself in a smaller family of your specialisation, with whom you will share the joys and sorrows, housing and meals more often than with your real family. Sharing helps, especially in the difficult times we are said to have ahead," said Valk. 

Speaking about future skills, she added: "It is no longer enough, now or in the future, to have knowledge in just one area. We need to be able to combine the knowledge and skills from different areas. Take advantage of the fact that at the university, you have it all at your fingertips – all you need to do is look around among your new family members." 

During the event, there will be a tent of the UT Gift Shop in front of the main building, selling the university's souvenirs and publications. In the same tent, donations will be collected in support of Ukrainian students. Everyone who donates at least one euro will receive an ice cream with the lactic acid bacterium ME-3 discovered by University of Tartu researchers. 

The opening ceremony will have simultaneous interpretation in English, with headphones available from the tent of the UT Gift Shop. With a small delay, it is also possible to follow the ceremony with simultaneous interpretation on UTTV using personal headphones and a smart device. 

Lyrics of "The Money Song" and "Gaudeamus" to be performed at the opening ceremony

Nutsurull on raske saak
särab aga silme ees
:,: Nutsurull on raske saak
inflatsioon on sees :,:

Keegi korjab keegi saab
kätte kõik ilmamaad
:,: Siis kui sugu surma saab
mammona pärandab :,:

Keegi pappi kokku aab
end aga tapab töös
:,: Sahtlid täis on sajaseid
elu see kulgeb öös :,:

Häh, raha, see sulab nagu vaha
Eesti pangas hoia teist või sukasääre sees
Häh, raha, see sulab nagu vaha
ja üsna ükstakõik, mis värvi metal on tal sees

Kool on pikk, aga pikem veel
on minu rent ja üür
:,: Mul on taskus ainult käed
puudub sealt kupüür :,:

Ma ei taipa ma ei näe
kas teda kasvab puus
:,: Rahajutt käib iga päev
iga mehe suus :,:

Mul on jalad mul on pea
mul on küljes käed
:,: Raskeid rahapakkisid
siiski silm ei näe :,:

Häh, raha, see sulab nagu vaha
Eesti pangas hoia teist või sukasääre sees
Häh, raha, see sulab nagu vaha
ja üsna ükstakõik, mis värvi metal on tal sees

Euro see on raske saak
särab aga silme ees
:,: Euro see on raske saak
talgi metal sees :,:

:,: Gaudeamus igitur, iuvenes dum sumus! :,:
Post iucundam iuventutem,
post molestam senectutem
:,: nos habebit humus. :,: 

:,: Vivat academia, vivant professores! :,:
Vivat membrum quodlibet,
vivant membra quaelibet,
:,: semper sint in flore! :,: 

:,: Vivat et res publica et qui illam regit! :,:
Vivat nostra civitas,
maecenatum caritas,
:,: quae nos hic protegit! :,:

The opening ceremony will be followed by opening ceremonies and information sessions at faculties and institutes. For more information, see the home page of your unit (contacts of all units of the university). 

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