The demand for top-level experts on economics continues to increase. To make the best possible expertise available for Finnish society, Aalto University, Hanken School of Economics, and the University of Helsinki are preparing a new Helsinki Graduate School of Economics (Helsinki GSE) unit.

At the moment, the cutting edge of Finnish economics is of high international quality, but narrow. At the same time, the amount of consumer data keeps on growing in the business world, which increases the opportunities for data-based decision-making and demand for economics experts. The health, social services and regional government reform will substantially increase the need for economic competence both at the national and regional level.

Aalto University, Hanken, and the University of Helsinki are preparing a joint Helsinki Graduate School of Economics (Helsinki GSE) unit, which will expand the cutting edge of economic expertise in Finland. Its research activities and doctoral programmes are to cover all the key areas of economics. This will allow increase in the number of Master's and doctoral degrees and responding to the demand for experts.

- The role of private and third-sector operators in the provision of social and health care services and other public services continues to increase. In service management, the goal is cost-effectiveness and cost-efficiency, which is why the regional government and the state need more high-quality economic competence, says Tuomas Pöysti, Under-Secretary of State, Administrative Policy, at the Ministry of Finance.

The Helsinki GSE will be built into an international graduate school and research unit that will compete for the best researchers and students with the economics units representing the top of the world within the field. The number of professorships would increase from the present 20 to 35. The quantity of degrees would also increase. Once the Helsinki GSE has begun to function in its full capacity by 2022, there would be approximately 50 percent more masters and twice as many doctors graduating from the universities in the Helsinki metropolitan area than today.

The universities consider the establishment of the Helsinki GSE as a central and necessary act for building Finnish success: both the public and private sectors need top-level expertise of international level.

- Economic competence is needed more extensively in new areas of economy. For example, on-line shops need competence in optimisation to be able to take advantage of the vast amount of data available. Economics is an answer to this need, says Heidi Schauman, Chief Economist at Aktia Bank Plc.

Next, the universities will begin preparing for the establishment of the Helsinki GSE in their own administrative systems.

Further information:

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

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

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