About us

The University of the Arts Helsinki fosters our artistic heritage and renews art. This new university was launched in 2013 upon the merging of the Finnish Academy of Fine Arts, Sibelius Academy, and Theatre Academy Helsinki. The university now comprises the three academies, which are now equal in terms of educational content and cultural significance.

Key figures

In 2013

 

  • 2,041 students
  • 161 lower university degrees (bachelor's degrees)
  • 231 higher university degrees (master's degrees)
  • 16 doctorates
  • 4,435 applicants
  • 321 new students (approximately 7 percent of the applicants)
  • 666 full-time-equivalent personnel
  • 802 performances, concerts, and exhibitions
  • Expenditures of €67,663,000
  • Income of €72,596,000 

 

Organisation

The university comprises three academies which are equal in terms of educational content and cultural significance.
 

 

 

University collegium

The university collegium chooses the external board members and confirms the election of its internal members. The collegium also appoints financial auditors, approves financial statements and the annual report, and frees the rector and board members from liability for the financial accounts. The collegium strives to increase transparent decision-making and inclusiveness at the university.

 

The collegium consists of 18 members. Of those, six members represent professors, six represent the middle groups, and six represent students. The current university collegium’s term lasts from 2013 to 2016.

 

The collegium is chaired by Professor Esa Kirkkopelto. The vice chair is Professor Anne Sivuoja-Kauppala. The collegium’s secretary is Head of Administrative Planning Alina Savolainen

University collegium

University collegium

Professors

1. Esa Kirkkopelto (Theatre Academy), deputy member Villu Jaanisoo (Academy of Fine Arts)
2. Peter Peitsalo (Sibelius Academy), deputy member Jukkis Uotila (Sibelius Academy)
3. Veli-Matti Puumala (Sibelius Academy), Erik T. Tawaststjerna (Sibelius Academy)
4. Anne Sivuoja-Kauppala (Sibelius Academy), deputy member Heikki Uimonen (Sibelius Academy)
5. Riikka Stewen (Academy of Fine Arts), deputy member Päivikki Kallio (Academy of Fine Arts)
6. Dick Idman (Theatre Academy), deputy member Silja Rantanen(Academy of Fine Arts)

 
Other teaching and research staff and personnel

1. Päivi Arjas (Sibelius Academy), deputy member Max Tabell (Sibelius Academy)
2. Laura Jännes (Theatre Academy), deputy member Jukka Ruotsalainen (Theatre Academy)
3. Sami Kustila (Academy of Fine Arts), deputy member Stig Baumgartner (Academy of Fine Arts)
4. Hilkka Suominen (Sibelius Academy), deputy member Tuovi Martinsen (Sibelius Academy)
5. Mika Virkkala (Sibelius Academy), deputy member Jarmo Eerikäinen (Sibelius Academy)
6. Kaj Wager (Theatre Academy), deputy member Annika Fredriksson (Theatre Academy)

 

Students

1. Titta Aaltonen (Academy of Fine Arts), deputy member Jaana Kähkönen (Academy of Fine Arts)
2. Eero Erkamo (Theatre Academy), deputy member Milla Martikainen (Theatre Academy)
3. Ilpo Heikkinen (Theatre Academy), deputy member Janne Pellinen (Theatre Academy)
4. Lukas Korpelainen (Sibelius Academy), deputy member Oona Rosenlund (Sibelius Academy)
5. Erja Pulli (Sibelius Academy), deputy member Santeri Helinheimo (Sibelius Academy)
6. Virpi Viljanmaa (Academy of Fine Arts), deputy member Kati Roover (Academy of Fine Arts)

Board

The board decides the university’s central operational and financial targets. The board also decides on the strategy, actions, and financial plans of the university and draws up the university’s annual financial statements. The board approves agreements of major importance for the university and issues statements on significant matters of principle.

 

The board chooses the rector and the rector’s direct subordinates, and decides on the organisational structure and the numerus clausus for the university.

 

The board members for 2015–2017 are

  • professor Eeva Anttila
  • professor Vesa Kurkela
  • lecturer Jari Perkiömäki
  • planning officer Ann-Charlotte Karlsson
  • student Annika Kempe
  • doctoral student Jaakko Rustanius
  • LL.Lic Karri Kaitue
  • LL.D. Kimmo Nuotio
  • PhD Marja Sakari
  • M.Sc. Kai Seikku

The board’s secretary is Legal Counsel Annakaisa Koskimäki.

Interim Rector

 

The University of the Arts Helsinki’s Vice Rector Paula Tuovinen will serve as Interim Rector until a new rector is selected, after Tiina Rosenberg’s departure from her post on June 1st.

 

Tuovinen’s term as Vice Rector is between 1 October 2013 and 31 August 2018. The vice rector is responsible for promoting collaboration and mobility within the University of the Arts Helsinki.

 

Tuovinen was rector of Theatre Academy Helsinki from 2005 to 2012. She has previously worked as the head of the Danish National School for Contemporary Dance, as a lecturer in contemporary dance at the Theatre Academy Helsinki from 2004 to 2005 and from 1994 to 1995, and as a freelance dancer from 1985 to 2001.

Tuovinen’s educational background is in cultural anthropology, in which she holds an MA.

 

Contact
by e-mail
at paula.tuovinen@uniarts.fi
by phone to +358 40 5838549
via executive assistant at rehtori@uniarts.fi, tel. +358 40 8609512.

 

Executive Board

The rector is supported by the executive board. The executive board is a discussing body, whose members pass resolutions within the limits of their authority and responsibilities. In addition to the rector, the executive group comprises

  • Vice Rector Paula Tuovinen
  • Academy of Fine Arts Dean Markus Konttinen
  • Sibelius Academy Dean Tuomas Auvinen
  • Theatre Academy Dean Maarit Ruikka
  • Director of Finance Sirpa Korhonen
  • Personnel Director Leena Huotari
  • Legal Counsel Annakaisa Koskimäki  

The executive group’s secretary is Head of Administrative Planning Helena Haimi.

Deans


Tuomas Auvinen, Sibelius Academy


Tuomas Auvinen is the dean of Sibelius Academy for the term from 1.1.2013–31.12.2017.

 

Tuomas Auvinen has a PhD in Arts Management and an Executive MBA qualification. He has experience in academia and culture management as the CEO of the Association of Finnish Theatres and as the Executive Director of the Finnish National Theatre. He first worked as Sibelius Academy’s rector and later as dean, as of April 2012.

 

Contact via his executive assistant: Kristina Lillqvist, kristina.lillqvist@uniarts.fi, tel. +358 294 47 2000 (exchange)

Markus Konttinen, Academy of Fine Arts

 

Markus Konttinen is the dean of the Academy of Fine Arts dean for the term from 1 January 2013 to 31 December 2017.

 

He was previously rector of the Academy of Fine Arts from 2010 to 2012. His other positions at the Academy of Fine Arts have included a lectureship and the vice-rector’s post.

 

Konttinen is renowned as a front-line artist and a spokesman for the fine arts. His works have been on display at several exhibitions in Finland and abroad, where they are also a part of several art collections. Konttinen graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts in 1986.  

 

Contact via his executive assistant: Marjaana Sallantaus, marjaana.sallantaus@uniarts.fi, tel. +358 50 44 88 534

Maarit Ruikka, Theatre Academy

 

Maarit Ruikka is the dean of the Theatre Academy for the term from 1 April 2014 to 31 December 2015. She will also hold a professorship in directing until 31 December 2015.

 

Ruikka has directed for municipal theatres, professional theatre groups, radio, dance theatre, and free theatre ensembles. She is a qualified elementary school teacher and studied in the directing programme at the Theatre Academy Helsinki between 1989 and 1992. Ruikka has previously worked as an elementary school teacher and as a part-time teacher at Theatre Academy.

 

Contact via her executive assistant: Kristiina Ahovuori, kristiina.ahovuori@uniarts.fi, tel. +358 400 792 088

 

Strategy

University of the Arts Helsinki’s Strategy 2014–2016 


Values of the University of the Arts Helsinki

  • Equality
  • Inclusivity
  • Diversity
  • Respect
  • Daring
  • Skill

 

Strategic Intent of the University of the Arts Helsinki, 2017

  • The University of the Arts Helsinki is the most interesting university in Finland
  • The University of the Arts Helsinki is an internationally attractive meeting point for art, education, and research
  • The University of the Arts Helsinki has a significant role in society

 

Strategic Goals of the University of the Arts Helsinki

  • Inspire learning, research, and artistic activity
  • Encourage mobility and cooperation
  • Embrace internationality
  • Interact with society

History

The University of the Arts Helsinki launched on 1 January 2013 when the Finnish Academy of Fine Arts, Sibelius Academy, and Theatre Academy Helsinki merged.

 

The need for an arts university had been under discussion for a long time. As early as the 1980s, the Pasila Project included a plan to build a new complex in Pasila, Helsinki, for Sibelius Academy, the University of Art and Design Helsinki, and Theatre Academy Helsinki. The merger of the arts universities was topical all through the 2000s.

 

 

 

In 2010, the ministry of culture and education published a report on how to enhance the role of the arts universities in strengthening the quality, impact, and international competitiveness of Finnish arts and culture. In November 2011, the Finnish Academy of Fine Arts, Sibelius Academy, and Theatre Academy Helsinki’s boards approved the merger. 

 

Roots deep within 

The three academies of the University of the Arts Helsinki have roots deep within the Finnish art education and art history.

 

The earliest predecessor of the Academy of Fine Arts was the drawing school of the Art Society of Finland, which opened in 1848, Europe’s year of change. The first nationally and internationally renowned Finnish artists—such as Albert Edelfelt, Axel Gallén, Helene Schjerfbeck, and Ellen Thesleff—all studied at the Art Society’s Drawing School.

 

Since 1939, the academy operated under the Finnish Art Academy as the Finnish Art Academy School. The school became state-owned in 1985, and its name was changed to the Academy of Fine Arts. In 1993, the Academy of Fine Arts became an institution of higher education, and it became a university in 1998.

 

Sibelius Academy was established as the Helsinki Music Institute in 1882 through a private initiative. One of its students was Jean Sibelius, who later became the institute’s figurehead.

 

In 1924, the institute’s name was changed to the Helsinki Conservatory of Music as its operations expanded. In 1939, the name Sibelius Academy was introduced. Sibelius Academy became a state organisation in 1980 and a university in 1998.

 

The roots of the Theatre Academy can be found in the first theatre academy of Finland, which was active from 1866 to 1868, and which worked with the Swedish theatre Nya Teatern. The Swedish theatre school Svenska Teaterskolan was established in 1908 and worked with Svenska Teatern. Finnish-language actors were trained from 1904–1940 at the Student School of the Finnish National Theatre and the private Finnish Stage School. In 1943, the Finnish Theatre School began training students.

 

Theatre Academy Helsinki was founded in 1979 when the Finnish and Swedish theatre academies merged into a single national, bilingual theatre academy.

 

The roots of the Theatre Academy can be found in the first theatre academy of Finland, which was active from 1866 to 1868, and which worked with the Swedish theatre Nya Teatern. The Swedish theatre school Svenska Teaterskolan was established in 1908 and worked with Svenska Teatern. Finnish-language actors were trained from 1904–1940 at the Student School of the Finnish National Theatre and the private Finnish Stage School. In 1943, the Finnish Theatre School began training students.

 

Theatre Academy Helsinki was founded in 1979 when the Finnish and Swedish theatre academies merged into a single national, bilingual theatre academy.

Quality

Smooth operations and a bold attitude are the objectives of quality assurance at the University of the Arts Helsinki. Evaluation and continuous development are also natural parts of its operations.

 

For students, quality assurance means more fluent everyday functions and opportunities to give and receive feedback. For university employees, it means conscious processes and explicit responsibilities.

 

The aim of quality assurance is to encourage and inspire the university’s members to assume responsibility for the development of their work through successes, attempts, mistakes, and learning.

 

The University of the Arts Helsinki’s quality assurance system will be audited in 2017. The academies were previously audited as independent universities. The development of the quality assurance system has been based on existing, successful practices and the best practices of the earlier academy-specific quality assurance systems.

 

Further information is available from project manager Tiina Tuomikoski at: tiina.tuomikoski@uniarts.fi, tel. +358 40 710 4232.