The Aleksanteri Institute operates as a unit of the University of Helsinki Faculty of Arts. In addition, it has a special task of coordinating and organising Finnish research and teaching in Russian and Eastern European Studies and of providing information services for the network of 12 Finnish universities active in the field.

The Aleksanteri Institute promotes Russian and Eastern European studies in the Finnish society and is also one of the best- known institutes in its field globally. 

The institute was founded in 1996 and affiliated with the University of Helsinki. It has grown into a multidisciplinary and multicultural community of 50 researchers and experts.