Operating deficit of the University of Helsinki €16 million in 2023

Thanks to fundraising, return on investment and financial income, the University’s overall result was in the black. The University will increase the distribution of returns on investment activities to one of its core duties for the next five years.

In 2023 the University of Helsinki’s operating result (the result without taking investment activities and fundraising into account) was €16 million in deficit after taxes. 

The surplus from fundraising, investment and financial activities was €72 million, driving the University’s overall result to €57 million in the black. The return on investment and financial income included €58 million in changes in the value of investments. 

Core funding increased by €20 million. In particular, funding was boosted by the university index and related indexation for 2022. 

The share of funding allocated to the University of Helsinki under the funding model of the Ministry of Education and Culture decreased slightly. On the basis of its own calculations, the University’s annual core funding will decline by €10 million annually over the next three years, which means that there will be €10 million less each year to spend. 

University of Helsinki operating result after taxes for 2010–2023, € million

A new record in external funding

In addition to core funding, the University of Helsinki acquires external funding from a range of sources. Another record-breaking year was seen in external funding, totalling €340 million, of which €253 million was research funding. Roughly half of all research funding, €127 million, was awarded by the Research Council of Finland.


Growth in electricity costs halted

The University’s operating expenses increased by 6%. Staff expenses increased by €25 million, rents by €9 million and other expenses by €6 million. 

The steep rise in electricity costs was halted, falling €1.5 million from 2022. At the same time, however, heating costs increased. In 2022, electricity and heating costs increased by €9 million to a total of €20 million. In 2023, the corresponding total was €19 million.

Travel expenses increased by more than €3 million, returning close to pre-pandemic levels.

A good year in investment

In 2023 the University of Helsinki saw a 13.5% return on its securities portfolio. The return was primarily boosted by responsible equity index funds that invest globally. At the end of the year, the portfolio was valued at €672 million. The cornerstones of the University of Helsinki’s investment strategy, founded on academic research, are diversification, low costs and the mitigation of climate change. From the beginning of 2019, the average annual return on investment for the securities portfolio has been +11.6%.

The Board of the University of Helsinki has decided to increase the distribution of return on investment to one of the University’s core duties by up to approximately €10 million between 2024 and 2028. The additional distribution of returns will be targeted at supporting research. 

The Board approved the University of Helsinki’s financial statements for 2023 in its meeting on 17 April 2024.

Key figures in 2023


8,574 employees in December

7,673 full-time equivalents (FTE), of which 4,328 represented teaching and research staff 

1,600 FTEs for international staff, of which 1,329 represented teaching and research staff

30 % of teaching and research staff are international staff


31,706 degree students

2,572 international degree students

5,840 degrees

72% of bachelor’s and master’s degrees completed within the target duration or no more than one year later 

27,290 applicants in the main admissions procedure

4,173 new students in the joint application procedure and the application procedure for international master’s programmes


12,040 publications, of which 75% were refereed

€252 million in research funding

7 Flagships of the Research Council of Finland at the University of Helsinki from a total of 14 in Finland

16 Centres of Excellence of the Research Council of Finland at the University of Helsinki from a total of 23 in Finland

5 Academicians of Science at the University of Helsinki

10 researchers from the University of Helsinki on the Highly Cited Researchers list


The University of Helsinki retained its place among the top percentile in global university rankings

5 strategic international partners

101 invention disclosures 

61 patent applications

53,215 registered alums

15% of media coverage in world-class media outlets

A record-breaking user satisfaction score for the helsinki.fi website 

14 locations where the University has operations