About us

About us:

The highest education in the arts

The highest education in the arts

The University of the Arts Helsinki was founded in the beginning of 2013 upon the merging of the Academy of Fine Arts, Sibelius Academy, and Theatre Academy. The University of the Arts Helsinki offers the highest education in music, fine arts, theatre and dance in Finland.

The mission of the University of the Arts Helsinki is to foster our artistic heritage and educate artists, whose work provides society with new perspectives and life force. The university’s three academies are some of Finland’s most sought-after places to study. The research conducted at the University of the Arts Helsinki is internationally acclaimed.

The University of the Arts Helsinki is a bold, pluralistic, equal, and international community. It engages in international co-operation to ensure the high quality of the university’s education and research and to attract the best teachers and students of different fields.

Read more information about the available degree programmes at the University of the Arts Helsinki. 


Rooted in history

Rooted in history

The three academies of the University of the Arts Helsinki have roots deep within the Finnish art education and art history. The alumni of the Academy of Fine Arts, Sibelius Academy, and Theatre Academy have had a significant role in shaping the Finnish art scene through the 1900s. The goal of the Art is a Gift (”Taide on lahja”) campaign is to secure the high level of our education also in the future.

Read more about the history of the university’s three academies below.

History of the Academy of Fine Arts

The first predecessor of the Academy of Fine Arts was the Finnish Art Society's Drawing School, established in 1848, the year of many European upheavals. Among the students of the Drawing School were the first Finnish artists of national and international importance: from Albert Edelfelt to Axel Gallén, from Helene Schjerfbeck to Ellen Thesleff.

From 1939, the Academy operated under the Fund of the Fine Arts Academy of Finland and was known as the School of the Fine Arts Academy of Finland. In 1985, the school became state-owned and the name was changed to the Finnish Academy of Fine Arts. The Academy became an institution of higher education in 1993 and a university in 1998. 

History of the Sibelius Academy

The Sibelius Academy was founded as the Helsinki Music Institute in 1882 on a private initiative. One of the students of the Institute was Jean Sibelius, who became the Institute's nominal and symbolical figurehead.

After the expansion in 1924, the name of the Institute was changed to the Helsinki Conservatory.  The name Sibelius Academy was adopted in 1939. The Sibelius Academy became a public body in 1980 and a university in 1998.

History of the Theatre Academy

The roots of the Theatre Academy can be traced back to Finland's first theatre school, which operated at the Nya Teatern in 1866–1868. The Swedish-language theatre school, Svenska Teaterskolan, was established in 1908 at the Svenska Teatern. Finnish-language actors were trained at the Student School of the Finnish National Theatre and in the private Finnish Stage School in 1904–1940. In 1943, the Finnish Theatre School was launched.

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

Management of the University

Management of the University

The university comprises three academies, which are equal in terms of significance. The university Rector for the term 2015–2020 is Jari Perkiömäki, Doctor of Music.

The Chair of the University of the Arts Helsinki board is LL.Lic. Karri Kaitue, and the Vice Chair is M. Sc. Kai Seikku.

Read more about the university’s organisation. 

Financing of the University

Financing of the University

The Government is the main source of funding for the universities, and it will remain so in the future, as well, but it hopes that the universities also develop new forms of fundraising to strengthen the capital they receive from the Government. The Government has decided to support the universities’ fundraising with a maximum of 150 million euros overall by matching the private funds that the universities collect. 

Investment activities of the University of the Arts Helsinki

The investment portfolio of the University of the Arts Helsinki consists of financial assets. The value of the investment portfolio was roughly 30 million euros at the end of 2015. The return on the investments will be used on financing the university’s activities and its strategic goals. The purpose of our investment assets is to secure the university’s financial flexibility and to improve the stability of our finances.

The investment strategy of the University of the Arts Helsinki has been prepared by an investment committee whose members are professionals in the investment sector. The goal of the investment strategy is to take care of the entire university’s investment assets and make sure that the university follows good administrative practice. The investment decisions of the University of the Arts Helsinki are made based on principles of calculated risk and good risk management, which aims to achieve an effective risk-return relationship. The university also follows the principles of responsible investment. The invested assets are expected to generate a long-term nominal return of about 5% (within approximately 10 years).

The University of the Arts Helsinki put its financial management out to tender in 2015, and selected two discretionary portfolio managers as the asset managers for its investment portfolio, which is divided into two comparable portfolios both with a value of 15 million euros. LocalTapiola Asset Management Ltd and SEB Wealth Management Finland Ltd were selected as the university’s asset managers.

Join the Arts Club

Join the Arts Club

Those who donate and anyone else who’s interested can join the Arts Club free of charge and get more information on what kind of an impact the donations have on the university. The Arts Club offers a channel to get to know the university’s art education, research, and artistic activity.

Join the Arts Club by sending an email to the address taideklubi@uniarts.fi.