A million-euro donation from Otava Group and the Otava Book Foundation helps establish a programme in writing

Otava Group and the Otava Book Foundation will donate a million euros to the University of the Arts Helsinki (Uniarts Helsinki) for launching a degree programme in writing.

The University of the Arts Helsinki (Uniarts Helsinki) will establish a master’s programme in writing, which, for the first time in Finland, will offer artist’s education leading to a master’s degree in the field of writing in the context of various art disciplines. The programme will strengthen the position of writing and literature as an independent field of art and provide a unique path to becoming a professional writer. The master’s programme will be launched in autumn 2019.

Otava Group and the Otava Book Foundation will donate a million euros in total to Uniarts Helsinki. The donation will be allocated to the master’s programme in writing.

‘The donation makes it possible for us to educate artists specialising in writing in the context of Uniarts Helsinki, which is a home for various fields of art. The new master’s programme is a welcome addition to our selection, and it promotes the role of text and textuality in contemporary art’, says Uniarts Helsinki Rector Jari Perkiömäki.

Otava Group is a family business owned by the Reenpää family, and its areas of business include books, trade, magazines, and new business functions. The company was established in 1890 with the founding of Otava Publishing Company. It strives to promote culture, growth and learning in accordance with its values.

The Otava Book Foundation, founded in 1945, awards grants, prizes and subsidies to support Finnish literature and literary work and to help the culture of reading thrive in Finland.

‘The Otava Book Foundation has supported the work of Finnish writers through grants for over 70 years. With this exceptionally large donation, we want to contribute to the education of writers and bring it to an international standard in Finland and thereby fulfil the Otava Book Foundation’s mission’, says Olli Reenpää, Chair of the Board of Directors at the Otava Book Foundation.


More information:

Rector Jari Perkiömäki, 050-384 3454,  
Liaison Manager Nana Salin, 050-461 6780,  


The article has been updated on 18 December. A correction was made in the first paragraph, because the University of Jyväskylä, too, offers a programme in writing leading to a degree.