Helsinki Graduate School of Economics gains several new professorships

Helsinki Graduate School of Economics (Helsinki GSE) will gain new professorships funded by the Bank of Finland and the VATT Institute for Economic Research, which is governed by the Ministry of Finance. The unit's academic director and board will be elected in early 2018.

The Helsinki GSE, an economics graduate school and research unit that will begin operating in the autumn of 2018, gains several new professorships that will extensively contribute to their fields of research.

The Helsinki GSE will be established by Aalto University, the Hanken School of Economics and the University of Helsinki and its objectives are to compete with the world’s leading economics units in attracting researchers and students, to provide a setting for high-level Bachelor’s and Master's degree programmes and to offer high-quality doctoral education and research on the central fields of economics.

Economics is needed for the analysis and interpretation of the rapidly increasing information flow produced by digitalisation. One of Helsinki GSE’s essential objectives is to gather data and develop methods to support economic decision-making in both the public and the private sectors.


The unit’s financing base has gained a good start

The Bank of Finland will fund a macroeconomics professorship for Helsinki GSE to support research and education in this nationally crucial field. The field studies macroeconomic phenomena as well as the effects of financial and stabilisation policies on employment rates, productivity and economic growth.

‘The new research unit will support Finnish macroeconomics expertise and thus contribute to our capability for realising high-grade economic analysis in Finland. For the Bank of Finland, supporting the unit is an investment in the future. It is a means of securing the availability and know-how of Finnish financial policy experts’, explains Erkki Liikanen, Governor of the Bank of Finland.

The Ministry of Finance-governed VATT Institute for Economic Research will participate in funding two Helsinki GSE professorships. The intended focus of the shared professorships is on VATT’s research themes of economics, particularly on public finance.

‘As part of the Helsinki GSE project and as continuation to prior collaboration, VATT and the University of Helsinki are recruiting a public finance professor. VATT has funding in the state budget for realising shared professorships and it can start negotiations with the universities in early 2018’, tells Martti Hetemäki, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Finance.

The Ministry of Education and Culture and the founding universities will negotiate Helsinki GSE’s strategic funding during the spring of 2018.

‘It is apparent that the scope of Finnish top economic research needs to be extended’, states Anita Lehikoinen, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Education and Culture. ‘The Helsinki GSE serves as a fine example of universities’ ability to react to the research- and expertise-related needs of public finance. The Ministry of Education and Culture along with the founding universities are committed to supporting the Helsinki GSE’s operation financially as well.’

The Helsinki GSE’s three founding universities will budget at least a total of four new professorships in the field of economics. The Helsinki GSE will also collect funds in the form of private sector donations.


More extensive opportunities for students and a solid foundation for research collaboration

By establishing new professorships, increasing collaboration and effective centralisation of experts, the Helsinki GSE will be able to increase the number of Master’s and Doctor’s degrees and to answer the demand for experts in the field of economics. Once the Helsinki GSE has begun to operate in its full capacity by 2022, there will be approximately 50 % more masters and twice as many doctors graduating from the universities in the Helsinki metropolitan area than today. This would mean 120 masters and 15 doctors in 2022.

‘High-level education will produce skilful researchers and ensure an internationally competitive research environment that will attract top researchers around the world. These important investments enable us to build this kind of environment in Finland, and simultaneously to answer the society’s increasing call for top experts in the field of economics’, says Jukka Kola, Rector of the University of Helsinki.

'Founding the Helsinki GSE is an essential and necessary action that contributes to Finland’s success: both the public finance and the private sector need international-grade research and experts', comments Ilkka Niemelä, President of Aalto University.

‘The Helsinki GSE will expand the opportunities to study economics and lay a solid foundation for collaborative research. Through collaboration, we will be able to significantly improve our international competitiveness’, says Karen Spens, Rector of Hanken.

The boards of the founding universities have accepted the establishing of the unit and the universities’ rectors will sign the Helsinki GSE Treaty during December 2017. The academic director and the board of the Helsinki GSE will be elected in early 2018. The unit’s operation will begin in the autumn of 2018 as the Helsinki GSE doctoral programme and PhD-oriented Research Master programme will start.


Further information:

Rector Jukka Kola, University of Helsinki, tel. +358 2941 22211

Professor Topi Miettinen, Hanken, tel. +358 40 3521 406

President Ilkka Niemelä, Aalto University, tel. +358 50 452 4690