Pärnu College, University of Tartu
Pärnu is one of the most beautiful towns in Estonia, resort, known as the Summer Capital of Estonia. A town of 44,000 inhabitants is visited by up to 300,000 guests every summer season. A tourism and cultural centre, Pärnu offers a wide range of cultural events, festivals, exhibitions and other events all the year round. There are numerous hotels, guest houses, spas, and restaurants in Pärnu.
In 1699, the Swedish king Karl XII moved Academia Gustavo- Carolina from Tartu to Pärnu, thereby turning the seaside town into a university town. Pärnu re-established its status as a university town in 1996 when Pärnu College of the University of Tartu was opened.
Tartu University is the Estonian oldest, largest and most well-known university, with more than 17,000 students. Pärnu college has approximately 1,000 students today and four academic units: Department of Tourism Studies (the biggest department), Department of Entrepreneurship, Department of Social Work, and Department of Ecosystem Management. For providing support services or applied knowledge on research issues the college has the following units: the Service Competence Centre, the Health Resort Laboratory, the Language Centre and the College Library.
The Department of Tourism Studies, created in 1997, offers applied higher education programme in tourism and hotel management. Students can choose between three different specialization fields: Hotel Management and Marketing, Destination Management and Marketing, and Spa Management and Marketing.
In 2004 the department inaugurated a Master’s Programme in Tourism Geography in co-operation with the Faculty of Biology and Geography of the University of Tartu.
The Department of Tourism Studies collaborates with other scholarly organizations and institutions of higher education in Estonia and abroad. A number of educational partnership agreements have been signed within the EU Erasmus Programme enabling student and faculty exchange.