1. At the top in international university rankings
The University of Helsinki is the oldest and largest academic institution in Finland, established in 1640 and now with 31 200 students and 7 800 employees of which 57 % represent teaching and research staff.
As the University of Helsinki places in the 50-100 range in the majority of the most important rankings, it elevates us to the top 1% of the world's universities. Usually, we rank among the top 50 universities in Europe and hold the first position in Finland.
When assessed against the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals, we rank among the top 100 universities for global impact, performing strongly in the ‘Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions’ indicator as well as in ‘Climate Action’.
2. For a better world
As one of the world’s leading multidisciplinary research universities, we believe that the power of knowledge can change attitudes, people and society – for the world. Our goal is to produce and share high-impact knowledge that contributes to solving global challenges affecting us all. For example, our clinical biobank forms the basis for world-class genetic research and we are pioneers in climate research as well as in understanding big data.
Many of our degree programmes are linked to research efforts that are key to building a better, more sustainable world. Therefore, when studying with us, you can have an impact too – study for the world.
The University of Helsinki is a member – and the only from Finland – of the League of European Research Universities (LERU), an association of 21 leading research-intensive universities in Europe.
3. Interaction with top researchers in an international environment
Our philosophy is that all teachers are researchers and all researchers teach. Students and researchers work together on the campuses, and the professors and teachers are easily approachable for discussions and informal consultations. Hierarchy is flatter here. This interaction between students and researchers is an essential part of academic life at the University of Helsinki.
You learn from world-class scientists and build networks in an international environment. Around 24% of the research and teaching staff and a fifth of the doctoral trainees and postdoctoral researchers come from outside Finland. Out of 31 200 students, 6% are international. In addition, the University of Helsinki receives more than 1 000 incoming exchange students from over 60 countries each year.
4. A wide range of multidisciplinary degree programmes
The University of Helsinki offers undergraduate, graduate and postgraduate degrees with teaching in English. Our multidisciplinary approach enables you to tailor your degree based on your own interests and strengths. You are also welcome to study with us as an exchange or visiting student.
- Bachelor's Programme in Science is our only undergraduate degree in English. The others are taught in Finnish and/or Swedish.
- The scope of our 36 International Master's Programmes is 120 ECTS credits, completed over two years of full-time study and providing a solid foundation for doctoral studies.
- Doctoral education at the University of Helsinki is carried out at four doctoral schools in 32 doctoral programmes.
- If you are considering a student exchange, you can find information for exchange and visiting students at the Instructions for students -website.
5. Inspiring study environments
The University of Helsinki operates on four campuses in Helsinki within 10 km of each other and all easily reachable by public transport. The diverse learning environments and technology are ranked to top positions globally by our international students: state-of-the-art laboratories and versatile classrooms, historical buildings from the 19th century, comprehensive ICT services, electronic learning platforms and study materials distributed through e-channels. The software can often be downloaded freely to your personal computers too.
Instead of having to buy all your study materials, you can use the library resources for free. The campuses have modern libraries with about 73.5 shelf kilometres of printed books and journals, plus e-resources that can be accessed remotely. In the award-winning Main Library Kaisa House, a magnificently designed building full of light, you find 1000 workplaces and stunning spaces for relaxation: cosy reading chairs, a top-floor balcony and an open student kitchen serve to refresh you throughout the day.
It is easy to bump into your fellow students and faculty members in student cafes, restaurants and the many lively meeting places. For example, Think Corner is a co-creative public meeting space of science.
6. Support for your career
Graduating from a top 1% university gives good opportunities for your future professional life, and building your own career path begins already during your studies.
Career Services at the University of Helsinki give guidance and support from the start of your studies until one year after the completion of your degree, including career guidance and counselling, courses and events, and facilitation of mentoring groups.
Helsinki Think Company is the entrepreneurship society of the University of Helsinki. They bring together students, researchers and other people by providing free co-working spaces, accelerator programmes, boot camps, mentoring, a platform for testing business ideas and most importantly a community of like-minded individuals.
7. Blooming student life with good benefits
Student life offers many extracurricular opportunities, an important part of your study experience. At the University of Helsinki, the student community is very active and thousands of events are organised by more than 250 student organisations operating within the Student Union of the University of Helsinki (HYY). Whatever your interests are, you are likely to find like-minded people and the right activities for you.
All degree students are members of the Student Union (HYY) and although life in Helsinki might not be the cheapest, as a student and member of the Student Union (HYY) you are entitled to various services and benefits that will make your life easier. For example, you have access to affordable student housing, basic health care services, low-cost sports facilities and student-priced meals. In addition, you get numerous discounts, for example on public transport fees across the country and for tickets to cultural events and attractions.
8. Equality and respect for diversity
The University community's everyday activities and interactions are steered by the shared values of the University of Helsinki: truth, Bildung, freedom and inclusivity. The last one safeguards our equality and translates into diversity and respect for others.
The university is committed to promoting equality and preventing discrimination in all its operations in order to support the creation of a healthy studying and working environment.
The Student Union of the University of Helsinki (HYY) also has two contact persons who offer guidance and support to students who have encountered harassment, bullying, discrimination or any other kind of unequal treatment. Many other student organisations also have their own harassment contact person.
9. Helsinki, a great city for students
Helsinki, the capital of Finland, is a compact, safe and modern seaside city that offers the excitement of its rich urban culture full of events, contrasted against the relaxing energy of its scenic nature and clean air. A third of the city is covered in green areas and the gorgeous archipelago comprised of around 330 islands is only a short bus ride away.
The public transport system has been named the second-best among European cities and gives you easy access around the metropolitan area. Helsinki is regularly highly ranked in the lists of the most liveable cities in the world.
With several higher education institutions and 70 000 university students representing more than 10% of the city’s population, student needs and services are taken seriously. Your social calendar fills up with ease.
10. Experience the world-famous Finnish education system
The education system in Finland is considered one of the best in the world. An equal school system, high regard for teachers and top-quality teaching have played a significant role in making it a success.
The University of Helsinki is internationally renowned for the same elements: high-quality teaching, research, and innovation. Teaching is strongly research-based meaning you learn directly from our world-class researchers, developing strong research skills yourself. Accordingly, teaching by top scientists and interaction between students and researchers is an essential part of academic life. A flat hierarchy between students and staff makes everyone approachable. At the University of Helsinki, you can experience the key elements of the Finnish education system first-hand.
Interested in joining Helsinki?
Information about admission dates and how to apply:
- For the Bachelor's Programme in Science, the correct application period is determined by your previous education. For studies starting in autumn 2022, the application periods are 1 Dec 2021 – 5 Jan 2022 (Admission group 1) and 16–30 March 2022 (Admission group 2).
- The application period for the International Master's Programmes for studies starting in autumn 2022 is from 1 Dec 2021 to 5 Jan 2022.