University of Helsinki succeeds in adjusting its finances

Despite having its funding cut by nearly €60 million in 2016, the University managed to successfully balance its finances with an extensive change programme. The cooperation negotiations and subsequent layoffs cast a shadow on the past year. The University radically redesigned its administrative structures and degree programmes.

The University of Helsinki’s finances took a significant downturn from 2015 to 2016. This was caused by cuts to the government budget and other forms of funding as well as the revocation of the university index. In addition, the University of Helsinki lost more than €30 million with the discontinuation of the pharmacy compensation and tax, which in practical terms doubled the amount of the budget cuts. In total, the University’s overall funding decreased by nearly €60 million.

The University launched an extensive change programme in autumn 2015 to balance its finances. The cooperation negotiations conducted as part of the programme led to the dismissal of 372 employees.

The University aims to reduce its use of facilities, and cut 3,000 m2 of net floor area in 2016. The facility reductions are expected to result in significant savings during the coming years.

The University reorganised its administrative services into a new service organisation and incorporated its training and development services into the new company HY+. The incorporation of the Centre for Properties and Facilities was prepared during 2016, and the decision to incorporate was made in January 2017.

The University’s operational results are negative

In 2016, the University of Helsinki’s total income amounted to €692 million (2015: €750 million), of which €412 million was governmental core funding. The total expenses were €687 million (2015: €704 million), of which staff expenses represented 60% and facility expenses 14%.

The deficit of the University's operations was €4 million. The University received €8 million in income from dividends and selling securities, bringing the University’s total result to a surplus of €4 million. The surplus represents approximately 1% of its overall expenses and could fund the University's work for two days.

Staff expenses decreased by €30 million

In 2016, the University of Helsinki’s staff expenses were €411 million, or €30 million less than in 2015.

In 2016, the full-time equivalent figure went down by 571 from the previous year. The FTE figure for teaching and research staff went down by 2.5%, and for other staff, 13.5%.

The previously launched education reform moved forward. A reform of Bachelor’s and Master’s degree programmes was carried out during 2016, and 32 broad-scoped Bachelor’s programmes and 60 Master’s programmes will be launched in autumn 2017. The 32 doctoral programmes established in 2014 will continue to operate as before.

In 2016, the University also examined its faculty and education structures. All faculties will abolish departments by 1 January 2018.

Long-term efforts bear fruit

Rector Jukka Kola is pleased that systematic, long-term efforts have brought good academic and financial results. “Our success is thanks to our highly committed and skilled staff as well as our excellent students,” Kola states.


Revenues and expenses 2015–2016


More information:

Release published in 13 March 2017 regarding the University’s academic results

Further information about the University’s finances

For more information, please contact:

Chief Financial Officer Marjo Berglund,, tel. 0400 812 538

Year 2016 in brief
  • Balance sheet total: €646 million
  • Total revenue: €692 million
  • Total expenses: €687 million
  • Value of the University’s securities portfolio: €262 million
  • Staff expenses: €411 million
  • Available floor space reduced by approximately 3.000m2
  • Expenses from rents and maintenance fees: €95 million
  • Members of staff: 7,553, down 395 from the previous year
  • Ratio of teaching and research staff to all staff: 61%
  • Ratio of women to all staff: 57%; of teaching and research staff: 50%
  • Ratio of international staff to all teaching and research staff: 22%
  • Average age of staff: 42.9 years
  • Average age of retirement: 65.6 years