Cognitive Linguistics conference brings linguists from more than 50 countries to Tartu

1 week 1 day ago
13.07.2017

From 10 to 14 July, the 14th conference of the International Cognitive Linguistics Association (ICLC14) is held in the University of Tartu. The conference “Linguistic Diversity and Cognitive Linguistics” brings to Tartu nearly 500 participants from 50 countries all over the world.

The International Cognitive Linguistics Conference, a biennial event organised since 1989, is the most important meeting of cognitive linguists in the world. The chief organisers of the event Ilona Tragel and Jane Klavan admit that Estonia won the right to organise the ICLC conference in a tight competition in 2013. “Hosting such a significant linguistic event in Tartu will enhance high-level international research cooperation and improve the visibility of Estonian linguistics in the world,” said Dean of UT Faculty of Arts and Humanities Prof. Margit Sutrop.

Further information about the conference is available on the ICLC website

Viivika Eljand-Kärp University of Tartu Press Officer Tel: +(372) 737 5683
Mob: +(372) 5354 0689 E-mail: viivika.eljand-karp [ät] ut.ee
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Category: Press release
Hanna-Lotta Otstavel (lottaots)

Nearly half Estonian newspapers publish unlabelled advertorials

1 week 1 day ago
13.07.2017

Jan Richard Bærug, who recently defended his PhD at the University of Tartu, analysed the attitude of 691 newspapers and niche magazines of northern Europe to the merging of journalism and advertising. He found that three quarters of all analysed publications agreed to publish unlabelled marketing texts.

According to Bærug, such hybridisation of journalism is a problem as it may weaken democracy.

Although the study was conducted in 2006 and 2007 and ten years have passed since, Bærug believes the problem of hybridisation of journalism has not diminished. “On the contrary, data from the Press Councils of Denmark, Finland, Germany and Lithuania show an increase in the number of cases in which the problem consisted in merged marketing and journalistic content,” said Bærug, who says such hybrid content is becoming more and more justified.

The most intense hybrid journalism could be detected in Estonian and Russian newspapers, nearly a half of which accepted and did not label advertorials.

“The United Kingdom was different from the other countries as it was characterised by almost no publications rejecting advertorials and at the same time all publications wanting to label commecial content appropriately,” the author of the doctoral thesis explained differences between countries.

Results of the research allow to argue that a quarter of the publications were loyal to readers, a tenth were loyal to advertisers and slightly more than a half agreed to publish advertising texts only if labelled appropriately.

Bærug finds that journalism is in a very vulnerable and intense situation, where the merging of journalism with the marketing content supports the weakening of democracy. “The strong tradition of freedom of the press and journalistic autonomy can act as the counterbalance,” Bærug believes.

Read further on ERR Novaator.

Additional information: Jan Richard Bærug

Viivika Eljand-Kärp University of Tartu Press Officer Tel: +(372) 737 5683
Mob: +(372) 5354 0689 E-mail: viivika.eljand-karp [ät] ut.ee
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Category: Press release
Hanna-Lotta Otstavel (lottaots)

Central Asian medical universities participate in UT summer school on environmental health

1 week 1 day ago
12.07.2017

From 7 to 14 July, academic staff and doctoral students from Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and North India participate in the University of Tartu summer school.

At the summer school in Tartu, participants learn about new research methods in environmental health and epidemiology, which they can use to conduct similar studies in their home universities.

“Starting such research is a great challenge for medical universities of Central Asia, because there is no political support to these scientific projects. Air pollution, however, in the cities of those countries is so high that you can nearly see it with the naked eye. Also the problem of the availability and quality of drinking water is becoming more acute in Central Asia due to climatic changes,” said leader of the summer school, Associate Professor in Environmental Health Hans Orru.

Researchers and teaching staff members of UT Institute of Family Medicine and Public Health and UT Institute of Social Studies teach at the summer university. In the TUTORIAL project also universities from Milan and Berlin are involved.

The summer school takes place within the ERASMUS+ project TUTORIAL “Strengthening Network for Education, Research and Innovation in Environmental Health in Asia”. This project aims to develop the capability of environmental health centres that were established previously under the CANERIEH project, and create master’s programmes in environmental health. Through doctoral programmes the project enables two doctoral students from each centre to work at least for a month in the University of Tartu.

 

Additional information: Hans Orru, Associate Professor in Environmental Health, 737 4203, hans.orru [ät] ut.ee

Viivika Eljand-Kärp University of Tartu Press Officer Tel: +(372) 737 5683
Mob: +(372) 5354 0689 E-mail: viivika.eljand-karp [ät] ut.ee
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Category: Press release
Hanna-Lotta Otstavel (lottaots)

University of Tartu and Swedbank discussed plans for future

1 week 1 day ago
12.07.2017

On 29 June, the IT executives of Swedbank Group visited the University of Tartu to discuss cooperation opportunities and share information about the future plans of the bank and the university.

Last Thursday, on 29 June, the top IT executives of Swedbank Group led by Head of Group IT Anders Ekedahl met the rector and vice rectors of the University of Tartu and lecturer of information systems Fredrik Payman Milani to discuss cooperation, each other’s interests and plans for the future.

Close cooperation between Swedbank and the University of Tartu started 10 years ago already by establishing the professorship of software engineering, the first privately funded professorship in Estonia. In 2016 the framework agreement for cooperation was signed, specifying goals for long-term cooperation in the area of economics, IT and mathematics to develop curricula, contribute to studies and support the implementation of cross-faculty projects. IT competences in combination with data science, statistics, modelling, mathematics and communicative competences play an increasingly important role in supporting the implementation of the bank’s long-term strategy. Therefore, Swedbank is willing to support the development of research and education in order to guarantee the availability of employees with necessary skills.

“For the University of Tartu it is important that graduates acquire the best possible education and are able to think outside the box. Good cooperation partners help us prepare students better for future life,” said Head of UT Technology Transfer Unit Kristel Reim.

Swedbank plans to build a larger unit in Tartu than the existing branch, and looks specifically for business intelligence employees for the unit. The bank cooperates closely with the university both through scholarship programmes and supporting existing curricula, as well as through new activities that support workplace-based learning.
 

Additional information: Kristel Reim, Head of UT Technology Transfer Unit, 5342 4023, kristel.reim [ät] ut.ee

Viivika Eljand-Kärp University of Tartu Press Officer Tel: +(372) 737 5683
Mob: +(372) 5354 0689 E-mail: viivika.eljand-karp [ät] ut.ee
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Category: Entrepreneurship
Hanna-Lotta Otstavel (lottaots)

Abandoned shopping carts give retailers valuable information about customers

1 week 2 days ago
12.07.2017

The master’s thesis by Annika Liivamägi, a graduate of Service Design and Management in the University of Tartu Pärnu College, explains that customers who leave the online shop before completing their purchase are not necessarily a problem for the retailer but may involve a positive opportunity instead.

The spread of e-commerce offers competition to traditional shopping in several product categories and this is why retailers are increasingly more interested in knowing how to attract people to their online shop and encourage them to buy there. As people may stop the purchasing process at any moment during online shopping and only a small percentage of customers actually complete the purchase and pay for the goods, Liivamägi looked into people’s shopping behaviour on the internet.

“People love to add things they like into the shopping cart, but before completing the purchase, they often decide to gather additional information about the goods and so they leave the purchase unfinished,” said Liivamägi, whose paper focused on e-commerce environments specialising in alcohol sales. “However, there is no reason to worry about such uncompleted purchases, because firstly, many people return later to review their shopping cart and may still pay for the goods, and secondly, an abandoned shopping cart gives the company lots of information about the customers’ needs,” believes Liivamägi, in whose opinion a skilful use of the obtained information enables the retailer to actually increase sales.

Estonians prefer to buy products and services of longer useful life online, because in these cases they perceive fewer risks. “Alcohol, for example, which is often bought online in Australia, America, England and elsewhere, remains a niche product in Estonia and, like food, Estonians prefer to buy alcohol in a regular store. Alcohol is so widely available here that people just do not feel the need to buy wine, for example, on the internet. However, they use the internet to search for additional information about goods and services. Therefore, entrepreneurs can turn the situation to their own benefit and offer in their online shop also informative and interesting product descriptions, which would encourage the customer to complete the purchase either online or in the physical shop of the company,” said Liivamägi.

Results of Liivamägi’s master’s thesis reveal that retailers should focus more on the information left behind by customers who abandon the shopping cart. Using this information, it is possible to attract potential buyers back to the store and by offering them suitable content, motivate the customers to buy.
 

Additional information:
Annika Liivamägi, author of the master’s thesis, annika.liivamagi [ät] gmail.com
Andres Kuusik, UT Head of Chair of Marketing, 516 0918, andres.kuusik [ät] ut.ee
 

Viivika Eljand-Kärp University of Tartu Press Officer Tel: +(372) 737 5683
Mob: +(372) 5354 0689 E-mail: viivika.eljand-karp [ät] ut.ee
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Category: Press release
Hanna-Lotta Otstavel (lottaots)

Tartu scientists showed that people’s descent plays important role in genetic risk estimation

1 week 4 days ago
09.07.2017

In a recently published article, Tartu scientists showed that unless an individual’s genetic descent is taken into account, his or her DNA-based estimation of disease risk may provide incorrect results.

In the case of many complex diseases, for example the coronary heart disease and the type 2 diabetes, the disease risk is not affected by one or two, but thousands or even tens of thousands of gene markers available in the human hereditary substance, DNA. Each one of them has a relatively small effect if taken separately but the aggregate impact is considerable.

This is why different mathematical models have been developed in the world and also in Estonia, attempting to take into account all these gene markers and sum up the combinations that increase the specific person’s risk and, based on the obtained result – the so-called risk score – determine the person’s disease risk as low, medium or high.

“In the article we showed that the thresholds required for risk estimation are not universal, but are significantly dependent on the genetic descent of the person. A risk score that means a high probability of the expression of a disease for an Estonian, may be a low one for an African,” one of the authors of the article Sulev Reisberg explained the finding. Reisberg added that therefore it is extremely important to adjust the score according to the person’s descent before giving the risk estimation. “This may prove really complicated if the individual is not a typical representative of the population genetically, and if their roots are mixed. Often the person may not even know his or her exact descent.”

Authors of the article do not say how precisely to adjust the risk score – this is a topic for further research. “It was important to first of all estimate the possible effect. When we know the problem, we can start looking for a solution – either by eliminating a part of the people from risk estimations to avoid giving them incorrect feedback, or by adjusting the score to match their genetic background,” said leader of the research group Professor Jaak Vilo.

Authors of the article are scientists from the University of Tartu Institute of Computer Science, Estonian Genome Centre, Software Technology and Applications Competence Center and Quretec.

The article was published in PLOS ONE journal and the original text is available here: http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0179238

Additional information: Sulev Reisberg, PhD student, +372 524 8123, sulev.reisberg [ät] ut.ee

Viivika Eljand-Kärp University of Tartu Press Officer Tel: +(372) 737 5683
Mob: +(372) 5354 0689 E-mail: viivika.eljand-karp [ät] ut.ee
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Category: Press release
Hanna-Lotta Otstavel (lottaots)

UT International Summer University programmes attract learners from nearly 30 countries

2 weeks 1 day ago
05.07.2017

Since 1998, the International Summer University of the University of Tartu has introduced higher education and research in Estonia, incl. study opportunities at the University of Tartu, to participants from all over the world.

“This year, the aim of the summer university is to offer unique programmes in the fields of social sciences and humanities, focusing on Estonia and the Baltic Sea area, as well as courses introducing the Estonian language and culture, to the international audience. This summer we conduct ten programmes in which participants learn about the semiotics of culture, relations between the European Union and Russia, and security in the Baltic Sea region, as well as study Estonian,” says Senior Specialist for UT International Summer University Laura Roop to introduce the programme.

Programmes of the 2017 summer university bring learners to Estonia from Europe, America and Asia, incl. South Korea, Jordan, Japan, USA, Russia, Germany, China, United Kingdom, Finland, Latvia, etc. Studies take place in Tartu, Tallinn and Pärnu, but also abroad, because cooperation programmes with other universities take the participants to Utrecht and Riga.

UT International Summer University takes place from the beginning of July to the end of August. The season opens on Monday, 3 July, with the course “After the Empire”, which introduces developments in Eastern European countries after the collapse of the Soviet Union, and the traditional summer school in semiotics “Juri Lotman and the Culture of Semiotics”.

Summer university programmes dealing mainly with the heritage of the Soviet Union and its challenges in the arena of present-day international relations, can be combined. Learners can choose the duration, location and topics of the summer university. For participants from other countries, the event gives an excellent opportunity to experience and live in different cities and countries during several weeks.

Higher education in Estonia is introduced to international students with the help of grants of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Archimedes Foundation. With support from the ministry’s Development Cooperation programme, 19 students from Georgia, Ukraine, Belarus and Moldova are given the opportunity to participate in the summer university programmes. The national grant programme for students, researchers and academic staff of foreign countries, coordinated by Archimedes Foundation, supports the participation of six students in Estonian language courses and in studies of cultural semiotics and European Union-Russia relations.

In summer also several other international programmes take place in the university, organised by UT faculties. To see the programmes, please visit the International Summer University homepage www.isu.ut.ee.

Additional information: Laura Roop, Senior Specialist for UT International Summer University, 5349 0995, laura.roop [ät] ut.ee

Viivika Eljand-Kärp University of Tartu Press Officer Tel: +(372) 737 5683
Mob: +(372) 5354 0689 E-mail: viivika.eljand-karp [ät] ut.ee
www.ut.ee

 

 

Category: InternationalPress release
Hanna-Lotta Otstavel (lottaots)

More applications than last year submitted to the University of Tartu during the admission period

2 weeks 3 days ago
04.07.2017

The admission period for most Estonian-language bachelor’s and master’s curricula in the University of Tartu ended last week. Application for English-taught curricula took place in spring. In total, the university received more than 12,100 applications for admission to Estonian and English curricula of all study levels.

8242 applications were submitted to programmes of the first level of higher education, 3465 applications for master’s curricula and 405 applications for doctoral studies. More than 10,200 applications were submitted for Estonian curricula and more than 1900 applications for international programmes.

Similarly to earlier years, on the first level of higher education the highest number of applications were submitted for the curriculum of Medicine (629 applications), followed by Information Technology with 488 and Law (in Tartu) 347 applications. The tightest competition for student places was in Open University admissions: there are 9.8 candidates for one student place in the programme Early Years Teacher, 8.7 candidates for one place in Entrepreneurship and Project Management in Pärnu College, and 8.2 candidates for one place in Special Education.

An admission threshold, i.e. a minimum score which guarantees admission has been established for several first-level curricula of the University of Tartu; so there are already 1335 student candidates who have exceeded the threshold and guaranteed themselves a student place in the university. Depending on the curriculum, the other candidates have to either sit an entrance examination during this or next week or apply based on their state examination results. 

In master’s study, the biggest number of applications were submitted for three IT programmes: 363 applications for Conversion Master in IT in Estonian, 262 for Computer Science in English and 242 for Software Engineering programme. These were followed by the English-taught programme International Relations and Regional Studies with 214, and Marketing and Financial Management with 197 applications.

The most popular doctoral programmes are Political Science, Medicine, and Literature and Cultural Research.

The first admission decisions are made on 14 July. Admitted candidates have to notify the university of commencing their studies via the application system SAIS on 17 July at the latest. In case a candidate refuses the student place, the university offers the vacant place to the next candidate in the ranking list until 18 August.

From 24 July to 10 August applications are accepted for four master’s programmes: European Studies, Entrepreneurship and Technology Management, Strategic Management, and Service Design and Management.
 

Additional information: Tuuli Kaldma, UT Head of Student Admissions, 737 6391, tuuli.kaldma [ät] ut.ee

Viivika Eljand-Kärp University of Tartu Press Officer Tel: +(372) 737 5683
Mob: +(372) 5354 0689 E-mail: viivika.eljand-karp [ät] ut.ee
www.ut.ee

 

 

Category: AdmissionPress release
Hanna-Lotta Otstavel (lottaots)

200-year-old painting of G. F. Parrot to be exhibited for the first time in UT Art Museum

2 weeks 3 days ago
03.07.2017

On 5 July, the University of Tartu Art Museum exhibition “Dissecting a Painting. Portrait of G. F. Parrot” is opened in the rotund of the Old Anatomical Theatre. This is the first opportunity to see the portrait of the well-known rector and professor of physics of the University of Tartu, painted by Franz Gerhard von Kügelgen 200 years ago.

“The painting was believed to be lost until 2016, when by a lucky chance it found its way back to Estonia from the USA and now belongs to the University of Tartu. We are very pleased to be able to display the newly restored painting and dissect the different aspects of the story of the painting. The exhibition introduces the history of the portrait of Parrot, the story of its making, disappearing and finding,” says curator Ingrid Sahk. In addition, the event displays portraits of other great Germans painted by F. G. von Kügelgen, belonging to the university.

This exhibition has an added emotional value due to its venue – the historical and interesting rotund of the Old Anatomical Theatre, which is usually closed for individual visitors but accessible for everyone during this exhibition.

The exhibition celebrates the 250th anniversary of Georg Friedrich Parrot and during summer months involves several programmes for both grownup and small art-loving audience:

·      29 July at 11 Crazy Scientist’s Saturday morning experiments “Colours and vision”

·      15 August at 12 “Dissecting the painting. Studies of pigments and other aspects”. Prof. Hilkka Hiiop introduces technical research and analyses conducted on Parrot’s portrait.

·      29 August at 12 “Dissecting the painting. Secrets of the painting technique.” Artist and lecturer Rauno Thomas Moss explains the painting process in F. G. Kügelgen’s era and demonstrates the different stages in painting.

In addition to the painting exhibition, also an electricity exhibition dedicated to the anniversary of G. F. Parrot is opened on 5 July in the main building of the University of Tartu Museum, the historical cathedral.

The exhibition displays a unique collection of the museum – the oldest electrical experiment equipment in Estonia, from Parrot’s physics laboratory 200 years ago. Hands-on exhibits are of great importance in the exhibition, helping to better understand the topic of electricity by trying and testing.

The exhibition in the Old Anatomical Theatre is open for visitors Tue–Sun 10–18 and remains open until 3 September 2017.

Additional information: Ingrid Sahk, 502 6168, ingrid.sahk [ät] ut.ee

Viivika Eljand-Kärp University of Tartu Press Officer Tel: +(372) 737 5683
Mob: +(372) 5354 0689 E-mail: viivika.eljand-karp [ät] ut.ee
www.ut.ee

 

Category: Press release
Hanna-Lotta Otstavel (lottaots)

Marlon Dumas elected as Professor of Information Systems

2 weeks 4 days ago
03.07.2017

University of Tartu Institute of Computer Science opens a new position in autumn – the professorship of information systems. The new position will be held by current Professor of Software Engineering Marlon Dumas, who is ranked among the world’s top 1% of most cited researchers in the area of computer science.

The objective of the professorships of information systems and software engineering is to support and supplement one another. The division of software engineering into two was caused by the faculty’s need to cover both software development processes and methods as well as the architecture and application areas of information systems. With these changes, the Chair of Software Engineering is able to better respond to the expectations of the industry. The new professorship of information systems will concentrate on identifying IT systems needed by organisations at certain moments of time, while the focus of software engineering is directed to effective creation of such systems and their compliance with the users’ needs.

“Establishing the new professorship was necessary because of the rapid growth in the number of our students in recent years. People’s workload has also increased due to the addition of new cross-faculty modules. The new full-time professorships are covered with permanent contracts, i.e. they correspond to high-level tenure,” said Head of the Institute of Computer Science Jaak Vilo.

According to Marlon Dumas, his aim as a Professor of Information Systems is to build strong contacts with local and European software industry, especially in the area of predictive and cognitive information systems. “This spring we already started two such projects, one in cooperation with Swedbank to supplement their services by means of predictive analytics. In the second project with GoSwift, we want to develop predictive tracking methods to develop effective queuing systems,” Dumas explained. Naturally, work also continues in the field of process mining, with the focus on creating open-source projects and practical applications. As a new project, Professor Dumas and his workgroup plan to work on chat interfaces and other applications of artificial intellect in companies’ information systems.

Dietmar Pfahl, who takes over the professorship of software engineering, plans to focus on data-based approaches, which help to improve the software industry development processes. “Specific research directions are related to data analytics in the development of energy-efficient software products, automated approach to open innovation, and reducing technical deficiencies in software industry,” said Pfahl, who currently works as Associate Professor of Software Engineering.

Both professors start work on 1 September 2017.

 

Additional information:

Marlon Dumas, Professor of Software Engineering, 737 5473, marlon.dumas [ät] ut.ee  

Dietmar Pfahl, Associate Professor of Software Engineering, 737 5432, dietmar.pfahl [ät] ut.ee

Viivika Eljand-Kärp University of Tartu Press Officer Tel: +(372) 737 5683
Mob: +(372) 5354 0689 E-mail: viivika.eljand-karp [ät] ut.ee
www.ut.ee

 

Category: Press release
Hanna-Lotta Otstavel (lottaots)

Volli Kalm takes oath of office as UT rector on Friday

3 weeks 2 days ago
28.06.2017

On 30 June, the inauguration ceremony where rector Professor Volli Kalm takes an oath of office for the new term as the rector will be held in the assembly hall of the University of Tartu.

On 30 June 2017 at 16:00 the inauguration of Professor Volli Kalm takes place at the open session of the university council and senate in the assembly hall of the University of Tartu. After the address by UT council chair Ruth Oltjer, the Rector takes the oath of office. President Kersti Kaljulaid hands over the chain of office to Volli Kalm, the 85th rector of the University of Tartu.

Rector Kalm, who is starting his new five-year term of office, delivers an inaugural speech in which he also introduces his team. The new Rector’s Office starts work on 1 July and includes three vice rectors who are in charge of academic affairs, research and development. New members of the Rector’s Office are Professor of Theatre Research Anneli Saro, who starts work as Vice Rector for Academic Affairs, and Senior Research Fellow in Technology Research Kristjan Vassil, who assumes the office of Vice Rector for Research. Erik Puura continues in the position of Vice Rector for Development. Next to the deans who have been elected into office for four years, also Head of Finance Taimo Saan and Academic Secretary Andres Soosaar continue as members of the Rector’s Office.

Volli Kalm said, “The vice rectors in the new Rector’s Office have a broad-based professional background – what I expect from these representatives of the younger generation is a fresh view, clear accountability and, definitely, without compromise standing for the as high as possible level of the university’s academic and research activities.” Speaking of his plans for the upcoming term of office, Volli Kalm pointed out that although several strategic decisions concerning the focus areas and laboratories of the university, new job descriptions, attracting promising young people to the university, investments in the Delta centre, sports building and the dormitory of Narva College have already been made, their actual implementation is still in progress or at an early stage. “Our recent partnership with European top universities has also opened a completely new dimension for the university in international academic cooperation. Quite soon we are going to develop the university’s new strategic plan – like those mentioned before, it will include tasks, the effects of which will be evaluated by future rectors’ offices and academic generations, and this demands us to be even more responsible when carrying out these things,” said Kalm.

The university’s 250-member electoral council elected Volli Kalm as the rector on 30 March 2017. Two candidates were running for the position of the rector of the University of Tartu: the incumbent rector, UT Professor of Applied Geology Volli Kalm and UT Professor of Practical Philosophy Margit Sutrop.

Volli Kalm was born on 10 February 1953. In 1976 he graduated from the University of Tartu in geology. In 1984 Kalm defended his dissertation “Formation, composition and usage of glaciofluvial deposits in Estonia” and was granted the candidate of science degree (PhD) in geology. From 1988–1989 he completed postdoctoral studies in the Department of Geology of the University of Alberta. Volli Kalm worked in the Institute of Geology of the UT Faculty of Biology and Geology since 1981. From 1998–2003 he was Vice Rector for Academic Affairs of the University of Tartu. Since 2012, Professor Volli Kalm has been the rector of the University of Tartu.

Additional information: Andres Soosaar, UT Academic Secretary, 5919 1116, andres.soosaar [ät] ut.ee

Viivika Eljand-Kärp@ University of Tartu Press Officer Tel: +(372) 737 5683
Mob: +(372) 5354 0689 E-mail: viivika.eljand-karp [ät] ut.ee
www.ut.ee

 

 

Category: UniversityPress release
Viivika Eljand-Kärp (viivikae)

Estonian Bar Association and University of Tartu make an anniversary gift to Estonia

3 weeks 3 days ago
27.06.2017

On 20 June, a cooperation agreement was signed by the Estonian Bar Association and the University of Tartu, aiming to support the development of high-quality Estonian Wikipedia and to appreciate and highlight Estonian-language wiki articles on law and the Bar. The cooperation is a part of the University of Tartu’s Million+ project, which hopes to raise the number of Estonian Wikipedia articles to one million by the year 2020. The prize fund of the article competitions is 3000 euros.

According to Chairman of the Estonian Bar Association Hannes Vallikivi, cooperation with the Estonian national university is important for the Bar. The existence and availability of Estonian-language law articles is a prerequisite for the high quality of our legal system. Wikipedia articles give a good opportunity for the wider population to get familiar with legal topics,” said Vallikivi.

According to Director of UT School of Law Peep Pruks, “The experience of writing a good wiki article could incite a more serious interest in the student in topics important for the Bar Association and lead to writing, for example, articles for the Juridica journal. Maintaining and developing high-level legal terminology in Estonian is the common interest of the Bar Association and the Estonian national university.”

In the course of cooperation, the Estonian Bar Association and the University of Tartu organise three article competitions to find the best Estonian-language law or the Bar-related Wikipedia articles written by UT students or academic staff. The three article competitions take place in 2018–2019 and mark the 100th anniversary of the Republic of Estonia in 2018, the 100th anniversary of the Estonian Bar Association in spring 2019 and the 100th anniversary of the Estonian-language School of Law at the end of 2019. The prize fund of the article competitions is 3000 euros.

“The Estonian legal terminology and general information should be easily available in today’s information era. Wikipedia as an open online encyclopaedia is an important carrier of information, and specialists of all specialities should contribute to creating high-quality content for Wikipedia. Each new article is a significant contribution to the future of the Estonian language – terminology and general information stored in Wikipedia can easily be found both by common users and by language-technological devices,” said Million+ Project Manager Sirli Zupping.

The competitions for law and the Bar Association articles aim to appreciate the Estonian legal language and offer students a chance to make their contribution to the development of the Estonian language. The article competitions help to increase the number of law-related articles and make the terminology of legal language available in the Estonian Wikipedia.

The Wikipedia development project Million+, initiated by the University of Tartu Vice Rector for Academic Affairs Mart Noorma, has developed into a collective venture and is one of the biggest anniversary presents to Estonia. The project helps to considerably quicken the achievement of one million articles in the Estonian Wikipedia. Million+ is a collective gift for the 100th anniversary of the Republic of Estonia.

Additional information:

Merike Ristikivi, UT Associate Professor in Legal History (Roman Law and Latin), 737 5396, merike.ristikivi [ät] ut.ee

Sirli Zupping, Million+ Project Manager, 5615 5993, sirli.zupping [ät] ut.ee

Viivika Eljand-Kärp@ University of Tartu Press Officer Tel: +(372) 737 5683
Mob: +(372) 5354 0689 E-mail: viivika.eljand-karp [ät] ut.ee
www.ut.ee

 

Category: Press release
Viivika Eljand-Kärp (viivikae)

Top athletes have a moral obligation to prevent other people’s immoral deeds

3 weeks 3 days ago
26.06.2017

A master’s thesis defended in the University of Tartu’s Department of Philosophy claims that top athletes, who more and more often attract media interest even outside the sports sphere, should also behave more morally than the so-called average person outside the training and competition period.

Mariann Järvela claims in her recent master’s thesis that compared to the so-called ordinary people, top athletes have two reasons for day-to-day moral behaviour – social responsibility and personal integrity.

Järvela finds that due to social responsibility, top athletes have the moral obligation to be a good role model primarily for children and young people. “Modern-day top-class sport is a global phenomenon and top athletes have an outstanding and prominent position in our society, which means that people willingly accept and embrace their behavioural models and the values they promote. When a top athlete behaves in an immoral manner, it is also a model behaviour to be followed. Therefore, athletes have a moral obligation to prevent other people’s immoral acts, which are caused by their own negative example,” Järvela argued.

In her thesis Järvela analysed and developed the argument by the reputable sports philosopher Robert L. Simon who said that sports at its best should also presume the acceptance of certain values. The author of the thesis said that as the continuity and integrity of values are of utmost importance for maintaining our identity, top athletes should remain loyal to sports values also outside the sports sphere.

Additional information: Mariann Järvela, author of the master’s thesis, jarvelamariann [ät] gmail.com

Viivika Eljand-Kärp@ University of Tartu Press Officer Tel: +(372) 737 5683
Mob: +(372) 5354 0689 E-mail: viivika.eljand-karp [ät] ut.ee
www.ut.ee

 

Category: Press release
Viivika Eljand-Kärp (viivikae)

Dietary supplement containing Lactobacillus fermentum ME-3 on sale in Australia

3 weeks 3 days ago
26.06.2017

The University of Tartu’s patented strain of lactic acid bacterium Lactobacillus fermentum ME-3 gains more and more popularity in the world. Food supplements containing ME-3 have so far been sold in 12 countries; in April a new supplement made it to the Australian market. Scientists are looking for new areas of use for the friendly bacteria.

Reaching the Australian market is an important landmark for UT scientists, because it shows that the strain has been sufficiently investigated to conform to regulatory requirements. The new dietary supplement is unique with its only active ingredient being the UT-patented probiotic strain Lactobacillus fermentum ME-3, in Estonia also known as the “Hellus” bacterium. “Due to complicated customs regulations, ME-3 was sold to the Spectrumceuticals company as raw material and not as a finished product. Their first product – BioOne™ – contains 8 million Lactobacillus fermentum ME-3 bacteria in one capsule. The main purpose of this probiotic product is supporting the digestive system,” said Professor Marika Mikelsaar, one of the discoverers of ME-3.

Prof. Marika Mikelsaar said, “ME-3 was initially known as a microbe providing protection against infection and oxidative stress. Also we knew some of its most important qualities that ensured such protection. Today, microbiologists and biochemists have cooperated and as a result, found nearly ten new mechanisms of action, through which ME-3 works in the organism under different conditions.”

Pursuant to the new discovered qualities, scientists are trying to find new areas of application for the bacterium. “At the moment I can just say that we want to enter, for example, the Japanese and the Chinese market with a completely novel product and use ME-3 also for maintaining skin beauty,” said Mikelsaar. 

Thanks to the scientists’ dedicated research, the bacterium L. fermentum ME-3, patented in Estonia, Russia, Europe and the USA, is now sold in dairy products in the Baltic countries, and as Reg’Activ Cholesterol dietary supplement, which lowers blood cholesterol levels and improves the lipid profile, in Estonia and 9 more countries.

In the USA, Canada, and Central and South America, three different ME-3-containing food supplements are sold, which are directed to strengthening heart activity, immune response and the body’s resistance, and facilitating toxin release from the liver.

Researchers of the University of Tartu discovered the strain of lactic acid bacterium Lactobacillus fermentum ME-3 in 1995. Lactobacillus fermentum ME-3 bacteria are unique for their combined antimicrobial and antioxidative effect. Therefore, they destroy harmful microbes and have a positive effect on the human body.

Additional information: Jane Luht, UT Technology Transfer Manager, 529 7956, jane.luht [ät] ut.ee

Viivika Eljand-Kärp@ University of Tartu Press Officer Tel: +(372) 737 5683
Mob: +(372) 5354 0689 E-mail: viivika.eljand-karp [ät] ut.ee
www.ut.ee

 

Category: Press release
Viivika Eljand-Kärp (viivikae)

University of Tartu students won two first places at international pitching competition in USA

3 weeks 4 days ago
26.06.2017

On Friday evening, University of Tartu teams took the two first places at the final competition of an exclusive NGAL® business development program. Among ten student teams from Estonia and USA, Cody was selected to be the winner and got 3,000 USD to implement their idea. The second place and 2,000 USD went to the Coulomb Sailing Group.

NGAL® (Network Globally, Act Locally) is an intensive business development program for early-stage student teams, engaging five universities and ten student teams from Estonia and USA. After three weeks of business development in Tartu, Tallinn and Charleston, all the ten teams presented their ideas to the jury, local entrepreneurs, at the final pitch competition on 23rd June in Charleston, USA.

Despite the tough competition, University of Tartu teams took the two first places. The code learning mobile app Cody was selected to be the best team of the whole program and got 3,000 USD for their product development. The second place went to the Coulomb Sailing Group – a space technology start-up grown out from EstCube project developing deorbiting services. The third place went to Aude Opus, Tallinn University of Technology team working on a scalable hydrogen based battery.

„The first place surely came as a big surprise for us,“ says the leader of Cody, University of Tartu student Kaspar Kuus. „It took us a while to realize that three Estonian teams actually made it to the TOP 3. All the teams had been working really hard and did a great progress during the program, so it was almost impossible to forecast the winners.“

According to Kuus, NGAL is a great opportunity to find international contacts and friends: „The name of the program says it all: Network Globally, Act Locally. All the teams supported each other and we got lots of good advice from fellow students, so that it was rather an incubator than a competition.“

Although the program itself lasted three weeks, the impact of the program is surely longer. Several teams made mutual plans for the future, couple of  students from USA became Estonian e-residents and planned to continue their studies in Estonia.

This year, NGAL® took place for the third time, being a shared program between two Estonian and three US universities: University of Tartu, Tallinn University of Technology, College of Charleston, The Citadel (Military College of South Carolina) and Nebraska Wesleyan University. University of Tartu was represented by four students: Kaspar Kuus, Reino Zuppur, Iaroslav Iakubivskyi and Triin Teppo.

NGAL® was made possible through the generous support of the Harry and Reba Huge Foundation.

Additional information: Maret Ahonen, manager, 737 4817, maret.ahonen [ät] ut.ee

Viivika Eljand-Kärp@ University of Tartu Press Officer Tel: +(372) 737 5683
Mob: +(372) 5354 0689 E-mail: viivika.eljand-karp [ät] ut.ee
www.ut.ee

 

 



 

Category: Press release
Viivika Eljand-Kärp (viivikae)

Genome Centre’s information day explains the benefit of our genetic data

1 month 1 week ago
13.06.2017

On 14 June at 15:00 the Genome Centre’s information day is held in the assembly hall of the University of Tartu, where experts explain what can be done with genetic data and how the data gathered in the course of research study can become valuable for ordinary people.

Nearly 5% of the Estonian adult population, i.e. 52,000 people have trusted their data with the Estonian Genome Centre, thereby hoping to contribute to the development of science, but also to gain some useful information about their health in return. While until 2011, the main objective of the Genome Centre was to create the extensive database and conduct research based on the data in order to find associations between human genome variants and the phenotype – incl. diseases; this year the centre started a major project which enables to complete the genotyping of all gene donors. 

“On the basis of the database, personal gene cards are prepared for gene donors, creating new opportunities for evaluating personal health risks and explaining them to participants who have expressed such request. Analysing the person’s genetic data and involving data on the environment, health behaviour and common diseases, it is possible to prepare an optimum disease prevention or treatment plan for each person. For example, gene data help doctors to select the most suitable drug for the person from similar alternatives and establish the proper dosage, as each person reacts somewhat differently to medications. Knowing our hereditary risks, we can alter our health behaviour so as to be able to reduce such risks,” said Annely Allik, Manager of Communication of Estonian Genome Centre.

The information day offers presentations by Professor Andres Metspalu, who introduces the project “Feedback to Gene Donor”, and UT senior researchers, who introduce the various areas of the project: medical geneticist Dr Neeme Tõnisson speaks of the benefit of the genetic feedback for people, Dr Krista Fischer observes the hereditary risks of common diseases and Dr Lili Milani explains the relationship between genes and drug unsuitability. UT Senior Research Fellow Elin Org introduces the soon-to-be-launched microbiome project, and Manager of Communication of the Estonian Genome Centre Annely Allik speaks about the possibilities of joining the project. After presentations, everyone is free to ask questions.

All interested are welcome to attend.

The information event is free for participants with prior registration. Please register via this form.

Recording of the event can be viewed later on www.uttv.ee.

Additional information: Annely Allik, Manager of Communication, University of Tartu Estonian Genome Centre, 737 4037, Annely.allik [ät] ut.ee

Viivika Eljand-Kärp@ University of Tartu Press Officer Tel: +(372) 737 5683
Mob: +(372) 5354 0689 E-mail: viivika.eljand-karp [ät] ut.ee
www.ut.ee

 

 

Category: Press release
Viivika Eljand-Kärp (viivikae)

University of Tartu keeps rising in world university rankings

1 month 1 week ago
12.06.2017

The University of Tartu (UT) has once again improved its position in the prestigious QS World University Rankings published today, reaching 314th place. Compared to last year, UT has improved its position by 33 places.

Compared to 2015, UT has moved up a total of 65 places. Considering the fact that there are nearly 26,000 universities in the world, this places UT among the top 1.2%.

The international consultation firm Quacquarelli Symonds (QS), which prepares the list, uses six indicators when ranking universities: the university’s reputation among academic leaders and employers (40% and 10% of the total mark respectively); ratio of academic staff to students (20%); the influence of scientific publications, i.e. the number of references per academic employee (20%); and the ratio of foreign students and foreign employees (5% of the total mark each).

UT improved its place in four out of the six QS indicators. The rise in the “university’s reputation among academic leaders and employers” indicator is particularly noteworthy (90 places compared to last year). The university has also risen in the “ratio of academic staff to students” and “ratio of foreign students” indicators, by 26 and 21 places, respectively. In the scientific influence indicator (“number of references per academic employee”) UT improved its position by 10 places.


When preparing the list, QS took 4000 universities into consideration, of which 980 were listed. First place went once again to Massachusetts Institute of Technology, followed by Stanford University and Harvard University. The University of Cambridge, ranked fifth, is the best-performing European university.

The full list is visible on the QS World University Rankings 2017/18 website.
More information on the method is available on the QS website.

Additional information: Erik Puura, Acting Director of Administration, 506 9882, erik.puura [ät] ut.ee

Viivika Eljand-Kärp@ University of Tartu Press Officer Tel: +(372) 737 5683
Mob: +(372) 5354 0689 E-mail: viivika.eljand-karp [ät] ut.ee
www.ut.ee

 

Category: Press release
Viivika Eljand-Kärp (viivikae)

University of Tartu retains title of most prestigious university in Estonia

1 month 1 week ago
12.06.2017

A recent survey of the reputation of universities conducted by Kantar Emor confirmed that the University of Tartu (UT) remains the most prestigious university in Estonia.

85% of the respondents to this year’s survey considered UT the most prestigious university in Estonia, which means that it continues to enjoy an excellent reputation which is continually improving. In addition, 90% of those aged 15-74 named UT as the first Estonian institution of higher education that comes to mind. This excellent reputation and spontaneous popularity show the stable leading position of UT in the field of Estonian higher education.

UT is most highly appreciated for the quality of the education it offers. Representatives of different age groups continue to consider a UT diploma (which is highly regarded on the labour market) and the university’s credibility to be very important. Successful alumni of UT whose current positions and activities represent the skills and knowledge they acquired at the university are also noted as significant pillars of its reputation.

In subject rankings, computer science continues to lead while technical subjects are also gaining in popularity. Over the past five years, the top five has included health care/medicine, law, business and economics, which continue to maintain their high positions.

“I’m really happy that the University of Tartu is active in modern areas of technology like computer science and informatics, IT law, entrepreneurship and innovation, gene technology and material science, which are considered subjects full of potential by the general public in Estonia as well,” said Vice-Rector for Academic Affairs Mart Noorma. “The fact that UT is contributing to these fields can also be seen in the fact that Delta – the new study and research building of the School of Economics and Business Administration, Institute of Computer Science and Institute of Mathematics and Statistics – is due for completion in autumn 2019.”

The students of today and tomorrow view the University of Tartu as a strong and secure choice for the future, which in addition to high-quality education offers varied student life and spirit and a sense of community.


The Kantar Emor reputation survey is the most anticipated survey among universities. This year a total of 1372 people age 15-74 took part.

More information: Mart Noorma, Vice-Rector for Academic Affairs, UT, +372 52 39 159, mart.noorma [ät] ut.ee

Viivika Eljand-Kärp@ University of Tartu Press Officer Tel: +(372) 737 5683
Mob: +(372) 5354 0689 E-mail: viivika.eljand-karp [ät] ut.ee
www.ut.ee

 

 

Category: Press release
Viivika Eljand-Kärp (viivikae)

Rector Volli Kalm was elected board member of reputable GUILD network of research-intensive universities

1 month 2 weeks ago
07.06.2017

On 1 and 2 June the Forum and General Assembly of the Guild of European Research Intenstive Universities (the Guild) took place in Brussels. At the meeting the Guild elected a new Board of Directors and admitted a new member university.

The General Assembly of rectors of the Guild network universities elected a new Board composed of:
•    Vincent Blondel, Catholic University of Louvain (chair)
•    Eva Åkesson, Uppsala University (vice chair)
•    Volli Kalm, University of Tartu (board member in charge of budget)
•    Anton Muscatelli, University of Glasgow 

The Guild’s Board of Directors is a standing governing body responsible for the implementation of the network’s strategic goals, management and monitoring the budget. The Board is accountable to General Assembly; its term of office is three years.

At the meeting the General Assembly decided to admit the University of Bern of Switzerland as a new member to the network.

At the Guild Forum “Universities, Research and the Future of Europe” on 1 June, members of the network and speakers invited from the European Commission and Parliament discussed how to better shape the research and innovation policy in the context of Europe’s future.

The Guild is an organisation of European research-intensive universities, founded in summer 2016.  The network opened an office in Brussels to be actively involved in the EU institutions’ policy-making process and represent the interests of 19 member universities.

Although it has operated for a short time only, the Guild has already proved to be an active and serious player in European higher education and research circles. The member universities have jointly submitted proposals for opening Framework Programme 9, and interim evaluations of Horizon 2020 and Erasmus+.

Additional information: Kristi Kerge, UT Head of International Cooperation, 529 7677, 737 6123, kristi.kerge [ät] ut.ee
 

Category: Press release
Viivika Eljand-Kärp (viivikae)

Swedish Embassy and Swedish Chamber of Commerce in Estonia acknowledge students' achievements with a scholarship

1 month 2 weeks ago
06.06.2017

The Department of Scandinavian Studies at the UT College of Foreign Languages and Cultures is proud to announce two scholarships worth 500 euros to Bachelor students majoring in Swedish language and literature. 

The scholarship is financed by the Embassy of Sweden and the Swedish Chamber of Commerce in Estonia, whose aim is to support and develop business relations between Estonia and Sweden. According to the director of the college, Kersti Lepajõe, the supporters' activities and large membership of the chamber are a good example of how many companies actually need experts who are well acquainted with the important cultural aspects of a foreign country: "In order for the business relations to be successful, we need mediators, who know the business climate and traditions in both Estonia and Sweden. In addition to experts skilled in economics and business in general, we also need people who are experts in the language and culture."

The scholarship is intended as a motivation and support for students demonstrating outstanding academic achievements, as well as active use of the skills and knowledge acquired in Swedish philology in professional life and society.

 

The application deadline is the 15th of June 2017

All the documents needed for applying and the conditions of the scholarship are available on the homepage of the Department of Scandinavian Studies

Information:

Kristina Mullamaa
Head of the Department of Scandinavian Studies
kristina.mullamaa [ät] ut.ee

Viivika Voodla
Academic Affairs Specialist
viivika.voodla [ät] ut.ee
Lossi 3-209
+372 737 5212

 

Category: Press release
Viivika Eljand-Kärp (viivikae)
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