Congratulations! You have made an excellent decision in applying to University of Helsinki. I am both happy and honoured to welcome you to our academic community.
At the University of Helsinki, we strongly believe that science has the power to change attitudes, people and society – for the world. The extraordinary situation in the world right now shows that university research is more important than ever, and we also aim to produce knowledge that contributes to finding sustainable solutions to global challenges.
As a student, you benefit from the high standard of research that places us in the top 1% of the world’s universities. The solid link connecting research and teaching guarantees a high quality of learning.
Right from bachelor’s studies, the purpose of university studies is understanding, adopting and applying the scientific way of thinking. Scientific research investigates matters and produces new knowledge. Scientific thinking does not shape the world according to our wishes. Instead, it pursues the truth by employing critical and rational thought. Many of our master’s programmes are associated with research that is key to building a better and more sustainable world. You will learn from and work with world-class researchers. You will become a specialist in your field with a capability to understand broad topics, acquire and analyse information as well as manifold interrelationships and their consequences. You will be able to seek answers and solutions that benefit the world.
Despite the exceptional circumstances around the world, I hope that you can feel enthusiastic about your future studies but I also challenge you to take time to grow as a human being. Extracurricular opportunities are an important part of your study experience. Take advantage of the numerous student organisations and spend time on hobbies and with friends. Make sure to counterbalance your studies with other activities as your coping depends on allowing time to recover from intensive periods of study. In other words, studying should also involve enjoying a social life and networking.
So why should we care about growing as human beings? One of the most important values of our 380-year-old university is education, or more accurately, sivistys, a Finnish word for which there is no direct translation in English. It means that it’s not just important to be academically educated but also to know how to be empathic and appreciative. I hope you’ll learn the true meaning of the word while studying with us.
I hope to welcome you to our campuses in Helsinki soon! Until then, take care and stay safe!
Rector of the University of Helsinki