Uniarts Helsinki’s Conferment Ceremony 2018

The first joint conferment ceremony will be organised 8–10 June 2018.



The first joint conferment ceremony for masters and doctors at the University of the Arts Helsinki (Uniarts Helsinki) will be organised 8–10 June 2018.


The three-day event at Uniarts Helsinki celebrates the conferment of master’s degrees, doctorates and honorary doctorates.


The university welcomes all those who have completed a master’s or doctor’s degree at Uniarts Helsinki before the conferment to participate in the conferment ceremony, as long as they haven’t previously attended a conferment ceremony for masters and doctors at the Academy of Fine Arts or Sibelius Academy or a doctoral conferment ceremony at the Theatre Academy. The Theatre Academy has not organised a conferment ceremony for masters prior to this, so the academy welcomes all master’s graduates to join the conferment ceremony.


If you didn’t choose to participate in the previous conferment ceremonies, you may ask to be a part of the conferment ceremony of Uniarts Helsinki in 2018. When possible, we hope to extend our welcome to masters and doctors who have completed their degree prior to the previous ceremonies. You can participate in the conferment ceremony as a doctor promovendus, even if you have already participated in one of the previous ceremonies as a master.


In the ceremony, promovendi, i.e. graduates who will have their rank bestowed upon them in an official event, celebrate the end of their studies and the beginning of their new life after the graduation.

Honorary Doctors

13 artists and influencers in the arts will receive the title of Honorary Doctor at the University of the Arts Helsinki.

Uniarts Helsinki's Honorary Doctors:

  • Violinist Lisa Batiašvili
  • Jazz pianist Aaron Goldberg
  • Professor ja conceptual artist Mary Kelly
  • Visual and performance artist Satu Kiljunen
  • Visual artist Markus Konttinen
  • Choreographer and dance artist Marjo Kuusela
  • Theatre and film director Ralf Långbacka
  •  Artist and philosopher Erin Manning
  • Chairperson of the Board at Koneen Säätiö Hanna Nurminen
  • Chairperson of the Board at Leonora ja Yrjö Paloheimon säätiö Lauri Paloheimo
  • Composer Kaija Saariaho
  • Professor and musician Derek Scott
  • Actor Seela Sella




The conferrers are professors selected by the academies who confer the academic status of master or doctor to the promovendi of their respective academy in the conferment act, the official ceremony, which will be organised at the Helsinki Music Centre on 9 June 2018.

Eeva Anttila


The conferrer of the Theatre Academy’s degrees is Eeva Anttila, who works as Professor of Dance Pedagogy and Head of the Master’s Degree Programme in Dance Pedagogy at Uniarts Helsinki. Anttila is also involved in the ArtsEqual research project, which examines how art could increase social equality and well-being in Finland of the 2020s if it were understood as a public service. Anttila has published several articles about dance pedagogy both in Finnish and international publications. She is an active contributor in dance and art education organisations, and she was a member of the Uniarts Helsinki Board from 2014 to 2017.


Heidi Westerlund


The conferrer of the Sibelius Academy’s degrees is Heidi Westerlund, who is in charge of the doctoral studies and research in music education. Westerlund is also the director of two research projects: ArtsEqual, which is funded by the Strategic Research Council, and Global Visions Through Mobilizing Networks project, which is funded by the Academy of Finland.

Anita Seppä


The conferrer of the degrees at the Academy of Fine Arts is Anita Seppä, who is Professor of History and Theory of Art at Uniarts Helsinki. Seppä has a doctoral degree from the University of Helsinki, and she has been granted the title of docent in the fields of aesthetics and art education. Seppä is known as a versatile expert in art theory and fine arts, whose research topics include the relationship between globalisation and contemporary art, aesthetics, the interfaces of aesthetics and politics, visual culture, the methodology of picture research, and the theory of aesthetics. She has worked as the Commissioner of Uniarts Helsinki’s Pavilion for artistic research in 2015 and 2017.



Thursday 7 June

  • Wreath binding for the master’s promovendi at the Theatre Academy Tori from 16:30 to 20:30

Friday 8 June

  • Ceremony rehearsal at 12 pm
  • Conferment concert at 7 pm

Saturday 9 June

  • Conferment ceremony at the Helsinki Music Centre (concert hall) at 10 am. Live stream available here.
  • Procession from the Helsinki Music Centre to the Temppeliaukio Church (Church service) and Kunsthalle (secular service) at 1.30 pm
  • Conferment dinner and ball at the Finlandia Hall at 7 pm

Sunday 10 June

  • Excursion


The conferment tradition dates back to the Middle Ages, when universities wanted to celebrate the awarding of academic titles. Originally, the conferment ceremony celebrated the end of the graduates’ studies and had the purpose of bestowing the ranks of master and doctor to the bachelor’s students and licentiates who had completed their master’s and doctor’s studies. Nowadays, the purpose of the ceremony is no longer the conferment of degrees, and it’s primarily an academic celebration.

Conferment ceremonies for masters and doctors have taken place at the Sibelius Academy in 1997, 2003 and 2012, and in 2006 at the Academy of Fine Arts. The Theatre Academy organised a doctoral conferment ceremony in 2009.

Practical instructions

We will update these pages with more detailed instructions closer to the ceremony. The pages will include information on the dress code and on the doctoral hat.



Other guests


Frequently asked questions



Contact information

Contact: promootio(at)uniarts.fi

Data protection at Uniarts
Conferment ceremony on Facebook

Project manager
Susann Vainisalo
0400 792 020

Chair of the Conferment Committee
Professor Lauri Suurpää

Media contacts

Communications officer

Mirva Niemi
tel. +358 40 869 9529

Instructions for the media

Media representatives are asked to notify their interest in attending the ceremony by sending an email to promootio@uniarts.fi so that we can make the proper arrangements for them. The dress code for the event is dark suit.