Tarja Halonen to chair the Board of the University of Helsinki: “Investments in education, edification and research are fundamentally important”

President Tarja Halonen hopes that Finland will continue to value education.

The Board of the University of Helsinki selected President Tarja Halonen as chair at its organisation meeting on 20 December. Teija Tiilikainen was elected vice-chair. The term of the Board is four years, 1 January 2018-31 December 2021.

Halonen emphasises that the University has great relevance to society on many levels.

– It gives Finland the chance to succeed in international competition and care for the Nordic welfare state. Education, research and innovation are highly significant for such efforts, she says.

– Even though it is important to keep up to date and succeed in competitions, I hope that the University can keep its views broader. For this reason, investments in education, edification and research are fundamentally important. I also hope that Finns will retain the great respect they have traditionally held for the education sector, Halonen continues.

One of the new Board’s first tasks during the spring term of 2018 is to decide on the next rector of the University. The Board is also a prominent institution outside the University.

– The University of Helsinki has an established position not only in Finnish scholarship and culture, but also internationally. The Board of the University features representatives from different sectors of society, and can network more actively both in Finland and beyond. As chair of the Board, I will do my best to draw on the international contacts and experience that I have, Halonen states.

Halonen also wants to send a message to the University community.

– The University is first and foremost a community. My first impression of the new Board is that it is very active and dedicated. But even the Board cannot function without constant contact with its background community and the support of that community.

The Board of the University of Helsinki 2018 -2021

Tarja Halonen (chair)

Teija Tiilikainen (vice-chair)

Ilona Herlin

Tommi Laitio

Jussi Pajunen

Ilona Riipinen

Jukka Kekkonen

Kalle Saksela

Pirjo Hiidenmaa

Thomas Wallgren

Elisa Hyytiäinen

Antti Kähkönen (term 1 January 2018–31 December 2019)

Johanna Riitakorpi (term 1 January 2018–31 December 2019)