An academically successful 2017 with stable finances

For the University of Helsinki, 2017 was a year of academic success. The deficit from the University's operations was €4 million. The University’s finances are stable and balanced.

In 2017, many major reforms were put into practice and became part of the daily work at the University. The new degree programmes welcomed their first students, the digitalisation of teaching marched onwards, tuition fees and the associated grants were adopted, and the reform of student admission moved forward. The year also marked the beginning of the University of Helsinki’s new strategic period, with the vision Global impact in interaction.

Number of first-cycle degrees increased

A total of 31,312 students were enrolled at the University of Helsinki in 2017, completing a total of 6,055 degrees. The number of completed degrees rose slightly from the previous year due to an increase in the number of bachelor’s degrees. The number of completed master’s and doctoral degrees went down slightly from the previous year.

Just under 3,400 new students began their studies. International undergraduate and postgraduate students numbered 1,872, a slight decrease from the previous year.

Some 3,200 research projects were underway at the University in 2017, with nearly 11,500 publications. Of these, 63% were academic publications.

The University of Helsinki increased its staff number by 3% in 2017. At the end of December 2017, it had 7,783 members of staff. Despite the higher head count, the number of full-time equivalent staff went down by 1%. Of all staff, 56% were research and teaching staff, 2% teaching staff at the teacher training schools and 42% were other staff. Women represented 57% of staff.

Significance of competitive research funding increased

The University of Helsinki has actively sought PROFI funding from the Academy of Finland, with considerable success. The University has gained a total of €34.5 million in related funding rounds, of which €15 million was awarded in 2017.

The University’s researchers were successful in the European Research Council’s funding rounds in 2017. In total, 12 researchers received ERC funding, bringing the total number of ERC grant recipients up to more than 60. 

Operative results in the red

In 2017, the University of Helsinki’s total income amounted to €704 million (2016: €692 million), of which €403 million was governmental core funding. Its total expenditure was €680 million (2016: €687 million). Staff expenses represented 59% of this, and facility rents 13%.

The deficit from the University's operations was €4 million. The University also showed an operating deficit in 2016. These deficits are caused by the abrupt cuts to governmental funding. 

Dividends and sales of securities brought €28 million in revenue, which has brought the University’s annual result to show a surplus of €24 million. The exceptionally high revenue from securities consists of sales revenue and expenses which relate to changes made to the composition of the securities portfolio and the decreased number of portfolio managers. The resulting funds were reinvested in the market.

The surplus represents approximately 4% of the University’s overall expenses, and could fund the University's work for 13 days.

Revenues and expenses 2017

Read also:

The University in figures

The University's key financial figures

Contact info:

Teaching and studies: Sari Lindblom, Vice-rector,, tel. +358 2941 20628

Research: Ritva Dammert, Director of development, Research Services,, tel. +358 2941 22292

Finance: Marjo Berglund, Chief Financial Officer,, tel. +358 400 812 538

Key figures 2017
  • 31,312 degree students
  • 1,872 international degree students, of 112 different nationalities
  • 6,055 degrees
  • 1.1 million completed credits
  • 22,120 applicants in main admissions, 3,367 new students
  • 25,310 Open University students

  • 7,783 members of staff, of whom 4,383 teachers and researchers
  • 1,234 members of international staff, of 97 different nationalities

  • 11,446 publications, of which  63% peer-reviewed
  • 3,252 research projects
  • 56th in the Shanghai ranking
  • 81st in the US News ranking
  • 21  Academy of Finland Centres of Excellence, of which 15 led from the University of Helsinki
  • 20 Academy Professors
  • 10 University of Helsinki researchers on the Highly Cited Researchers list, of a total of 21 Finnish researchers on the list
  • 108 invention disclosures and43 patent applications

  • 28,000 registered alumni
  • €48 million in donations to the University through the For the Best of the World fundraising campaign between 2013 and 2017 2013–2017
  • 36 million page visits on the website
  • 28,000 media hits + TV and radio mentios

  • Operates at 16 locations