Three core duties of the University

The University of Helsinki has three core duties.


The University of Helsinki aims to produce research of a high international standard in all fields. Research provides the University’s scholars with solid expertise to participate in the development of society and the business sector in various cooperation projects from local to international level. The University of Helsinki participates in more than half of all national and Nordic centres of excellence in research. It is a founding member of the League of European Research Universities (LERU) and an active partner in Una Europa, an alliance founded under the European Universities Initiative.

The University allocates funding to research based on competition and evaluation. Special emphasis is placed on multidisciplinary initiatives within basic research. About half of the research conducted at the University of Helsinki is financed from the University’s operating expenses and the other half from external funding sources.


Teaching at the University of Helsinki is based on research. The underlying principle is that every teacher does research and every researcher teaches. According to an international evaluation, teaching at the University of Helsinki is of a high European standard. As a research-intensive university, the University of Helsinki encourages most of its students to complete a second-cycle degree. The great variety of minor subject options continues to be an important component in the high quality of degrees completed at the University. Internationalisation has a key role in all degree programmes from bachelor's to doctoral level. The Open University offers flexible study opportunities in accordance with the University's degree requirements, and University of Helsinki Centre for Continuing Education HY+ provides professional provides continuing education and development services for organizations and individuals in Finland and abroad.

Community relations

The University of Helsinki is a responsible social force, an advocate of science and scholarship, and a valued partner. The University boasts an extensive network of partners, including its alumni and friends, donors and funders, foundations and civic organisations, businesses and the media as well as political decision-makers and civil servants in the public sector.

The University’s social engagement is manifested through its core duties of research and teaching, in addition to which the University and members of the University community interact with the surrounding society in numerous ways.

Interaction with the University enhances the operational conditions of its partners, the business sector and the society at large. Graduates serving as experts in various fields constitute the University’s most significant contribution to society. The University’s representatives are consulted by decision-makers, participate in public debate and provide research information for public use. Productive, well-functioning partnerships generate solutions to the great challenges facing not only Finnish society, but societies globally.