In the summer of 2022, the representatives of Tartu Analytica (a friendship group consisting of students and alumni) approached the University of Tartu and drew its leaders’ attention to students’ increasingly difficult financial situation. They also initiated a petition, which was submitted to the university’s management with over 1,300 signatures.
One of the solutions proposed by the initiators was the idea of opening a student canteen. On the one hand, the student canteen would provide students with affordable lunches, and on the other hand, a place to spend time together.
On 5 August, the initiators met with representatives of the university management and students and various solutions were discussed. It was found that the problem is wider and also affects students of other higher education institutions, and it results from the underfunding of higher education. It was decided that the University of Tartu, together with active students, can take the lead here.
As a result, the Student Canteen was opened in cooperation with Hugo Treffner Gymnasium and their caterer (Toidutorn AS). The pilot project lasted from 12 to 28 October. The goal of the project was to find out which conditions should be met to successfully open a permanent student canteen.