The University of the Arts Helsinki (Uniarts Helsinki) fosters Finnish artistic heritage and renews art. The university was launched in 2013 upon the merging of the Finnish Academy of Fine Arts, Sibelius Academy, and Theatre Academy Helsinki.
Happening now at Uniarts Helsinki
- 1968 students
- 195 lower university degrees (bachelor's degrees)
- 227 higher university degrees (master's degrees)
- 18 doctorates
- 4,156 applicants
- 313 new students
- 737 full-time-equivalent personnel
- 1424 performances, concerts, and exhibitions
- Expenditures of €73,028,000
- Income of €76,267,000
The publications and artistic works of the Uniarts Helsinki’s staff are registered in the CRIS database. Public data can be found here.
The university comprises three academies which are equal in terms of educational content and cultural significance.
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 2017 to 2020.
The collegium is chaired by education manager Mika Virkkala. The vice chair is Professor Kristiina Ilmonen. The collegium’s secretary is Head of Administrative Planning Alina Savolainen.
1. Saana Lavaste, deputy member x
2. Veli-Matti Puumala, deputy member Timo Kiiskinen
3. Kristiina Ilmonen, deputy member Jukkis Uotila
4. Ulrika Ferm, deputy member
Hanna Johansson/Lauri Suurpää. Johansson fills in temporarily as the vice dean, and is therefore disqualified from serving as a deputy member in the university collegium.
5. Nils Schweckendiek, deputy member x
6. Annu Vertanen, deputy member Villu Jaanisoo
Other teaching and research staff and personnel
1. Juhani Näreharju, deputy member Max Tabell
2. Sanna Suonsyrjä, deputy memberJan-Peter Björklöf
3. Liisa Huovinen, deputy membern Sanna Takala
4. Mika Virkkala, deputy member Marja-Leena Pétas-Arjava
5. Terhi Luukkonen, deputy member Minna-Kristiina Matikainen
6. Virva Sointu, deputy member Michaela Bränn
1.Titta Aaltonen, deputy member Olga Nikolskaja-Heikkilä
2.Virpi Viljanmaa, deputy member Niko Saari
3.Lauri Grünthal, deputy member Heikki Vallinoja
4. Piia Lääveri, deputy member Vuokko Lahtinen
5.Herman Nyby, deputy member Tarleena Laakko
6.Lasse Mäki, deputy member Michael Panula-Ontto
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 2018–2021 are
Researcher of economic culture Paavo Järvensivu
Board professional and executive Heikki Lehtonen (chair of the board)
Professor Marja Makarow
Director of the Cultural Office of the City of Helsinki Stuba Nikula
LL.M. with court training Astrid Thors (vice-chair)
Professor Eeva Anttila
Professor Petteri Salomaa
Facilities expert Kari Karlsson
Senior Advisor Hannu Tolvanen
Student Lukas Korpelainen
Student Sofia Raittinen
The board’s secretary is Legal Counsel Annakaisa Koskimäki.
Jari Perkiömäki is the University of the Arts Helsinki Rector for the term 1.12.2015–1.12.2020.
Jari Perkiömäki is an award-winning saxophonist who has worked as a lecturer in jazz music at the University of the Arts Helsinki since 1997. His earlier positions include vice rector (2009–2012) and Head of the Jazz Department (2000–2009) of the Sibelius Academy as well as member of the Finnish Higher Education Evaluation Council, FINHEEC (2010–2014).
Perkiömäki has also given lectures in companies and other organisations about utilising jazz improvisation in the development of leadership and organisations. Perkiömäki has numerous national and international positions of trust, which include chairmanship of the University of the Arts Helsinki’s association of lecturers and teachers and chairmanship of the International Association of Schools of Jazz IASJ.
by e-mail at email@example.com
by phone +358 50 3843454
via his executive assistant: Seija Laaksonen, firstname.lastname@example.org, tel. +358 40 8609512.
Vice Rector responsible for education
Vice Rector responsible for education
Lauri Väkevä is the vice rector responsible for education of the University of the Arts Helsinki during the term 1.8.2018–31.7.2023.
Väkevä began his career at the Sibelius Academy in 2005 as a lecturer in music education before he was appointed professor of music education in 2008. Aside from his teaching career, Väkevä was previously vice rector responsible for research and doctoral education from 2016 to 2018 and team leader for the research group Arts Education for All from 2015 to 2016 as part of the ArtsEqual research project conducted at the University of the Arts Helsinki. Väkevä holds a Doctor of Philosophy degree.
By e-mail at email@example.com
By phone to +358 40 710 4317
via his executive assistant: Seija Laaksonen, firstname.lastname@example.org, tel. +358 40 8609512
The rector is supported by the executive group. The executive group is a discussing body, whose members pass resolutions within the limits of their authority and responsibilities. In addition to the rector and vice-rectors, the executive group comprises
- Academy of Fine Arts Dean Jan Kaila
- Sibelius Academy Dean Kaarlo Hildén
- Theatre Academy Dean Maarit Ruikka
- Vice Rector responsible for education Lauri Väkevä
- Head of personnel services Riikka Mäki-Ontto
The executive group’s secretary is Head of Administrative Planning Helena Haimi.
Sibelius Academy deans
Sibelius Academy deans
Dean Kaarlo Hildén
Kaarlo Hildén acts as the dean of the Sibelius Academy from 1 March 2017 to 31 July 2021. He has been the dean of the Faculty of Classical Music at the Sibelius Academy since 2010.
From 2007 to 2010, Hildén was the Programme Director of Hanasaari Swedish–Finnish Cultural Centre. Prior to that, he worked for seven years as the music education director of Helsinki Polytechnic Stadia.
Hildén has taught the piano, practical accompaniment, and music theory at Sibelius Academy and Helsinki Conservatory of Music. Hildén has a Master of Music degree.
Contact: Kaarlo Hildén, via the executive assistant: kristina.lillqvist(at)uniarts.fi, tel. +358 294 47 2000 (switchboard)
Vice-dean responsible for the bachelor’s and master’s programmes and for artistic activities Olli-Pekka Martikainen
Olli-Pekka Martikainen acts as vice dean from 1 March 2013 until 31 December 2022. The vice dean’s duties mainly involve basic degree studies and artistic operations.
Olli-Pekka Martikainen has been a lecturer in percussion instruments in the Academy since 2004, before which he worked as a part-time teacher. He has been the head of the department since 2011.
Martikainen worked in the Lahti Symphony Orchestra as the leader of the percussion instrument section for over 15 years. Olli-Pekka Martikainen has a Doctor of Music degree.
Contact: olli-pekka.martikainen(at)uniarts.fi, tel. +358 40 710 4281 or via the executive assistant: kristina.lillqvist(at)uniarts.fi, tel. +358 294 47 2000 (switchboard)
Vice-dean responsible for research and doctoral education Tuire Kuusi
Tuire Kuusi (DMus) acts as a vice dean at the Sibelius Academy, and she is responsible for research and doctoral studies. She is also a professor at the DocMus Doctoral School. As the supervisor-in-charge, Kuusi’s duties include the supervision of doctoral students’ dissertations and written works. She is also the supervisor of theses and written works at the Department of Composition and Music Theory.
Tuire Kuusi is a member in various administrative bodies and working groups at the DocMus Doctoral School, the Sibelius Academy, and the University of the Arts Helsinki.
Contact: Tuire Kuusi, tuire.kuusi(at)uniarts.fi, tel. +358 40 710 4337, or via the executive assistant: kristina.lillqvist(at)uniarts.fi, tel. +358 294 47 2000 (switchboard)
Vice-dean responsible for the departments of music education, jazz, and folk music Dean Elina Laakso
Elina Laakso acts as dean for the Faculty of Music Education, Jazz and Folk Music from 1 August 2013 to 31 July 2018. Laakso was the head of the Academy’s Kuopio Unit from 1999 to 2004, and again beginning in 2008. She has worked for the Kuopio Unit as a part-time teacher since 1997 and as lecturer of church music since 1999.
Laakso has held several positions of trust in the International Society for Music Education for ten years. Laakso has completed both Cantor-Organist and Music Teacher qualifications at the Academy.
Contact: Elina Laakso, elina.laakso(at)uniarts.fi, tel. +358 40 710 4385 or via the executive assistant: kristina.lillqvist(at)uniarts.fi, tel. +358 294 47 2000 (switchboard)
Vice-dean of the classical music faculty Markus Utrio
Markus Utrio acts as a vice dean from 1 February 2018 until 31 December 2022.
Utrio has wide managerial and administration experience, as well as experience teaching all age groups. He held managerial positions at the Metropolia University of Applied Sciences’ cultural education department in 2007–2015. Since 2016, he has served as a division head at the Helsinki Conservatory of Music.
The vice-dean is responsible for planning, organising, and developing instruction, research, and artistic activities in the classical music faculty of the University of the Arts Helsinki’s Sibelius Academy. He is also responsible for the personnel, finances, and results of the faculty, including the duty to report about these operations. The vice-dean leads nine departments and a doctoral school.
Academy of Fine Arts Deans
Academy of Fine Arts Deans
Dean Jan Kaila
Jan Kaila is the dean of the Academy of Fine Arts dean for the term from 1 January 2018 to 31 December 2022.
Jan Kaila is a visual artist and a teacher in fine arts, and he has previously worked at the Academy of Fine Arts in various positions, including as a vice rector, director of the doctoral programme and professor of artistic research. Kaila received his doctoral degree in fine arts at the Academy of Fine Arts in 2002 after over a decade’s experience in different teaching positions in fine arts and photography.
Kaila has worked as a professor at the Estonian Academy of Arts and held numerous teaching positions as well as positions of trust in foreign art institutions of higher education and international art organisations. Since 2014, Kaila has worked as the scientific advisor in artistic research at the Swedish Research Council with a focus on developing artistic research.
The Dean is in charge of managing the Academy of Fine Arts as a part of Uniarts Helsinki. His responsibilities focus on the management of academic, artistic and pedagogic operations in the field of fine arts.
Contact via his executive assistant: Marjaana Sallantaus, email@example.com, tel. +358 50 44 88 534
Vice-Dean Johanna Vakkari
Vice Dean in charge of teaching at the Academy of Fine Arts is docent Johanna Vakkari (PhD). In her post, Vakkari steers the development of the Academy of Fine Arts education and related strategic projects. Vakkari has long-running experience of working as a teacher, researcher and employee within university administration. Before starting at the Academy of Fine Arts in 2011, she taught art history at the University of Helsinki for over 20 years, with special focus on old Italian art, contemporary art, as well as the history, theory and methods of art history. Between 2014 and 2016, she worked as the Head of the Arts & Culture Programme at the Finnish Institute in London. Vakkari has written several publications in her own fields of expertise.
Contact: johanna.vakkari (at) uniarts.fi, +358 50 331 4024
Mika Elo, Vice-Dean, research
Mika Elo is full-time professor and director of the doctoral programme in artistic research at the University of the Arts Helsinki Academy of Fine Arts. Elo is renowned for his diverse expertise in artistic research, visual culture and media theory. His research examines the interfaces of different art forms, philosophy and media theory, the epistemology of artistic research, corporeality and photographic theory. In addition to research, Elo is also a practising artist.
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org, +358 50 3473 969
Theatre Academy deans
Theatre Academy deans
Dean Maarit Ruikka
Maarit Ruikka has been nominated the dean of the Theatre Academy during the term 1.9.2018–30.8.2023.
Before she became the dean Ruikka was Professor in Directing at the Theatre Academy. She 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 elementary school teacher and as part-time teacher at the Theatre Academy.
Vice-dean Leena Rouhiainen
Leena Rouhiainen is the vice-dean responsible of research. Rouhiainen is also professor of research at the Theatre Academy and director of the Performing Arts Research Centre TUTKE. Rouhiainen holds a PhD in Dance (2003). Her doctoral dissertation discussed, from a phenomenological angle, what being a freelance dancer entails. Her current research interests include artistic research, somatics, bodily knowledge, and the phenomenological approach to research on dancers and performers.
Strategy of the University of the Arts Helsinki 2017–2020
Values of the University of the Arts Helsinki
Vision for 2025: Art creates the future
The University of the Arts Helsinki is an international forerunner in education and research in the field of arts and solidifies the arts as a force that reforms the society.
Strategic Goals of the University of the Arts Helsinki
- A strong university with networks
- An inspiring learning environment
- Research with an impact
- Responsible and innovative internationalisation
Internationalization is a strategic priority of the university and can be seen in every aspect of university’s main operations – in education, artistic activity and research. Artistic activities, instruction and internationality are closely intertwined at the University of the Arts Helsinki. University has various partners in all corners of the world.
Internationalization is first and foremost a tool for developing the content of the main operations. International activities are organized in each academy and academic field.
Internationality and networking are visible on all levels of the university: E.g. in the number of international degree students, active international exchange studies and traineeships, intensive courses in cooperation with international partner institutions and organizations, international workshops, festivals and exhibitions. The academies offer studies in English and frequently welcome visiting lecturers. Academies are active in use of modern technologies supporting learning and teaching in an international context (distance learning and learning platforms).
The academies and their degree programmes are active internationally in various networks and collaboration projects. Partnership agreements are based on mutual interest in developing education, artistic activity and research.
University of the Arts Helsinki understands the role and carries its responsibility in questions related to global responsibility. The university is active in several networks and projects focusing on capacity building in partner institutions and development of arts education in developing countries.
Erasmus Charter for Higher Education
Erasmus Charter for Higher Education
The University of the Arts Helsinki has been awarded an Erasmus Charter for Higher Education (ECHE) under the Erasmus+ scheme, for the program period 2014-2020. Our Erasmus ID code is SF HELSINK42. The Erasmus Policy Statement (Overall Strategy) of the University of the Arts can be viewed here and the Erasmus Charter here.
For further information concerning Erasmus student exchange and the application process, please contact each Academy’s International Office.
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.
Our quality management aims at
1. fulfilling Uniarts Helsinki’s strategy and vision - in accordance with the agreed-upon values. This means that our university is taking determined steps towards shared goals. The objectives and results of the quality management work are described in the university’s quality system, which entails a set of different kinds of practical tools and a mindset that encourages ongoing development and self-correction.
2. ensuring that the core operations of Uniarts Helsinki, i.e. learning, teaching, artistic activities and research, are of high quality. This means that the purpose of the quality system is to help students, teachers and researchers succeed and grow in their work, all the while taking the special characteristics of each artistic field into consideration. We strive to create a culture where everybody finds it natural to experiment, evaluate their work with a bold attitude, and learn new things.
3. making Uniarts Helsinki’s services clearly-defined and functional. This means that everybody knows what the university’s organisation is like as a whole, how the university is managed, and who is in charge of each task, service and decision.
More information about the quality management:
Uniarts Helsinki has been Green Office since October 2016.
- Appeal instructions (general)
- Instructions on requests for correction and appeal (public procurement)
Read more about Uniarts Helsinki’s data protection policy and privacy notices on the Data protection at Uniarts Helsinki page.
The contact information of Uniarts Helsinki’s Data Protection Officer as of 25 May 2018 is: Antti Orava, telephone +358503588681, email tietosuoja(at)uniarts.fi.