Bilingual University

The two main official languages of Finland are Finnish and Swedish. The languages of instruction and examination at the University of Helsinki are Finnish and Swedish. University of Helsinki is the only bilingual top university in Finland. Together the University students and staff members create a multilingual community where Swedish plays it's own unique part. University also contributes to the debate concerning the Swedish society in Finland. This site gives you more information about the bilingual University of Helsinki.

  • Education in Swedish is offered in the fields of science with Swedish professorships

  • More than 40 Swedish speaking professors and over 100 teachers teach in Swedish

  • Students are always entitled to write exams and course work in Swedish

  • Bilingual degrees are offered in a variety of subjects

University of Helsinki is the only university in Finland who offers academic education in Swedish in the fields of law, medicine, social work, social psychology, veterinary medicine, agronomy, geography and journalism.

According to the Universities Act (558/2009) there should be at least 28 professorships with Swedish being the teaching language at the University of Helsinki. The fields of the professorships are defined in the regulations of the university.

For more information see our list of Swedish-speaking experts (in Swedish).

Each campus has a group tasked with developing and coordinating Swedish-language and bilingual activities and teaching. The Viikki and Kumpula campuses have a joint group. For additional information please contact the campus coordinator of the campus in question (see the Office for Bilingual Affairs).

According to the Universities Act the rector or one of the vice-rectors should be a holder of a professorship with Swedish as the teaching language. Vice-rector Tom Böhling is responsible for the bilingual affairs of the university.

“Svenska verksamhetsnämnden” is the Board for the Development of Swedish Affairs and Teaching. The board is regulated by the Universities Act and it is led by the rector or a vice-rector holding a Swedish professorship.

The Board of the University nominates the members and the deputies for a four-year term. All the faculties, the Swedish School of Social Sciences, partner universities and institutions and the Student Union of the University of Helsinki are represented in the board, and Swedish Affairs functions as the secretariat.

Delegation contributes to research and teaching in Swedish by developing the connections and interaction with society.

The Office for Bilingual Affairs at the Rector’s Office coordinates and develops bilingualism at the University.

Every campus has its own coordinator developing bilingualism at the University's four campuses.

Our job is to

  • support the University management in strategic questions concerning bilingualism
  • create new initiatives to enhance the University’s bilingual activities and promote practical bilingualism
  • participate in the bilingual strategic development at the University level
  • promote bilingual interaction between the University and the society

Office for Bilingual Affairs
PO Box 59 (Unionsgatan 38)

Harriet Lindeberg-Saapunki
Head of Bilingual Affairs
Tel. +358 50 453 1401

Belinda Andersson
Tel. +358 50 411 2728

Richard Backman
Campus Coordinator, Meilahti (Mejlans)
Tel. +358 50 414 2318

Jessica Karlsson
Campus Coordinator, Viikki (Vik) and Kumpula (Gumtäkt)
Tel. +358 50 434 2351

Mikaela Wickman
Campus Coordinator, City Centre Cam­pus
Tel. +358 50 314 6792

Subscribe the “UNIversellt” newsletter and get the latest updates on what’s going on at the bilingual university! We publish our Swedish newsletter 4 times a year. Subscribe to UNIversellt.