Management and organisation

The Open University is an independent institute of the University of Helsinki that provides, develops and coordinates general research-based academic education in accordance with the principles of Open University instruction.

The rector of the University of Helsinki appoints the Board of the Open University for a term of four years. The student representatives, however, are appointed for a term of two years.

Under the direction of the chair, the Board shall develop the operations of the Open University as a whole in accordance with the University’s operational and financial objectives, the strategic plan of the University and the action plan of the Open University.

The Board members represent the faculties and partners of the University of Helsinki and the students and staff of the Open University.
The composition and meeting minutes of the Board (Flamma, in Finnish)


From spring 2015 onwards, Jaakko Kurhila, DPhil, has served as the director of the Open University. He is particularly interested in developing teaching and new solutions for online education.

“The Open University is keen to increase online teaching so as to take social changes and new study methods into account,” Kurhila says. “However, face-to-face interaction will continue to be important, and online solutions must be educationally justified. We wish to provide students with powerful online learning experiences.”

According to Kurhila, the main goal of the Open University is to make the University of Helsinki more open to society. At the same time, the Open University also supports the University of Helsinki’s degree students by offering flexible study opportunities throughout the year.