UT Viljandi Culture Academy is one of the four colleges of the University of Tartu. The Academy provides applied higher education and has offered a specialized culture education since 1952. The school was initially founded in Tallinn, the capital of Estonia, but was soon transferred to Viljandi, one of the most beautiful towns in Estonia.
In 1991 (the very same year when Estonia regained its independence) the former Viljandi Culture School was reorganised into a college providing applied higher education in different areas of culture. In the course of the last decade the variety of the specialities provided by the academy has been continuously increasing.
After reconstruction of Estonian higher education system at the beginning of new millennium, the Academy joined the University of Tartu in 2005.
The UT Viljandi Culture Academy offers graduate and undergraduate study programmes in such fields as theatre and dance arts, Estonian native crafts (textile, metal, construction and inherited crafts), music (jazz, traditional, pedagogy), sound engineering, leisure-time manager-teacher and culture management. Besides the theoretical knowledge our graduates obtain practical experience which enables them to have a steady position for entering labour market.
University of Tartu Viljandi Culture Academy sees its raison d'être in sustaining and developing the values of Estonian traditional culture. Although Estonian culture has received influences from different directions it still has its roots deep in ancient Estonian folk traditions.
In the modern age of globalisation we consider the maintenance of these traditions one of our main priorities. At the same time we do not restrict ourselves to the mere preservation of traditional values. We believe that Estonian culture should be open to new impulses of modern society and intercultural communication which enrich the traditional understanding. Through the process of continuous interaction the ancient traditions gain new meaning and value.
The educational activities carried out at the academy have an important regional effect as after graduation our former students move to different places all over Estonia not just into big cities. Their educational background, open-minded spirit and acquired professional, pedagogical and entrepreneurial skills create a good basis for having the leading role in the shaping of the future of local culture and communities that are open to the world.
Viljandi Culture Academy is also a unique community of the people and a special kind of learning environment. Through common projects and in some cases joint studies the students of different specialities can get a better understanding of the study's field of their fellow students. We believe that this kind of co-operation enables to create synergy within the studying community.
In addition to being a higher educational institution, the academy also aims at becoming an educational, creative, spiritual and development centre within Viljandi County, Estonia by being the main engine for development of regional creative industries.
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