University Management

Rector Jukka Kola wants the University to become even more international. “Internationality is not an end in itself, but rather a means to boost the University’s teaching and research,” Kola emphasises. According to the Rector, a more international approach would bring new ideas and methods in its wake. “Finland isn’t home to all wisdom. External influences may be crucial to the University’s success,” he says.

Kola is satisfied that the University of Helsinki has made it into the top 100 in the international university reputation ranking.

“The University has over 30 international Master’s programmes, whose content, attractiveness and visibility must now be improved. It is the only way to boost international applications,” he points out.

"While working in the best interests of the world, especially through its solid research and the solutions produced, the University must also place more and more emphasis on developing teaching and learning – in the best interests of students. This is where the excellent Teachers’ Academy takes on a big role", says Kola.

Kola emphasises that the thousands of students graduating annually from the University are the greatest and most direct form of community relations and impact.

Jukka Kola has served as professor of agricultural policy from 1992 as well as a part-time vice-rector from 2010 until his rectorship. Kola was the dean of the Faculty of Agriculture and Forestry from 2004 to 2009.

Jukka Kola is the 137th rector of the University of Helsinki.

Curriculum Vitae

Decisions

Contact information

Rector of the University of Helsinki
Jukka Kola
tel. +358 2941 22211
president@helsinki.fi
PO Box 3
00014 University of Helsinki

Executive Assistant
Maija Roitto
tel. +358 2941 22210
maija.roitto@helsinki.fi

In her new position, Vice-Rector Sari Lindblom will serve as the deputy to the rector, and her work will focus on the implementation of the Big Wheel education reform and the digitalisation of teaching and learning. Her duties also include academic quality assurance, library issues and Open University teaching. Lindblom has served as professor of higher education and as the director for the Centre for University Teaching and Learning HYPE. Lindblom is a psychologist by training.

 “One of my most important duties is to finalise the Big Wheel education reform. Reforming the degree programmes and degree requirements is a major undertaking, but I believe that the end result will be successful. I also intend to closely monitor what kinds of learning outcomes are attained.”

Another significant focus of Lindblom’s work is promoting the digitalisation of teaching and learning.

 “Digital tools are already being used in very interesting ways at the University. We must keep looking for new information and experiences on the opportunities of digital learning so that we can move digitalisation forward in a systematic manner," she says.

Teaching through research

Throughout her career, Lindblom has studied what happens at universities, from learning and teaching to assessment. She does not intend to abandon her research during her term as vice-rector.

“I believe that I have the best chance of being a successful academic leader if I am also actively involved in research.”

According to Lindblom, the promotion of the quality of teaching and learning must be based on discipline-specific research.

“We can develop the teaching and learning methods that best suit each discipline only if we are aware of the specific characteristics of each discipline.”

Curriculum vitae

Contact information

Vice-Rector
Sari Lindblom
sari.lindblom@helsinki.fi
PL 3
00014 Helsingin yliopisto

Executive assistant
Säde Stenbacka
p. 02941 23365 
sade.stenbacka@helsinki.fi

Professor Jouko Väänänen, dean of the Faculty of Science, is a vice-rector of the University of Helsinki as of 1 August 2017. The term of his new full-time position will end on 31 July 2018.  

“The University is changing. The degree programme reform is set to be adopted in full, and all of our faculties will abolish departments. Our finances must be stabilised, and the community must find its feet with the new University Services organisation,” lists Väänänen.

Väänänen has at least three issues to promote: research excellence, the University’s internationalisation and prudent digitalisation.

“I primarily look at the University of Helsinki as a European top university. There is fierce competition over the best researchers and research funding, and students also choose their universities from an international selection,” he says.

The internet, digitalisation and social media have dramatically changed the environment in which we operate, believes Väänänen:

“Open publication formats challenge the traditional publishing industry, while web-based teaching challenges traditional teaching through lectures, laboratory tasks or fieldwork. But I also believe in peer and collaborative learning.”

Curriculum vitae

Contact information

Vice-Rector
Jouko Väänänen
jouko.vaananen@helsinki.fi
PL 3
00014 Helsingin yliopisto

Executive assistant
Tiina Hartikainen
puh. 02941 22382
tiina.hartikainen@helsinki.fi

His interest in nature led Pertti Panula, now a Vice-Rector, to scientific research and the University of Helsinki, or the Tvärminne Zoological Station to be exact. 

“I’ve always been a nature enthusiast, and going to Tvärminne as a teenager let me meet some researchers in the field. Tvärminne is still an important place for me.”

Tvärminne also exposed Panula, born and raised in a monolingual Finnish-speaking home, to Swedish. Today, his duties as vice-rector include bilingual affairs.  

In addition, Panula is responsible for equality and non-discrimination affairs, community relations and regional activities as well as cooperation with the Hospital District of Helsinki and Uusimaa, the Hanken School of Economics and the Arcada University of Applied Sciences.

The Nordics can make a difference together

Important aspects of community interaction include providing research information to support decision-making and addressing social issues in the University’s strategy. The University wants to be a key partner for regional institutions and companies. Panula would strengthen the position of the Swedish language at the University, particularly because of the Nordic cooperation it enables.

“The Nordic countries are in many ways examples for the world, and even for Europe. Even though individual Nordic countries are curiosities on an international scale, together they can make a difference. 

Panula’s position as vice-rector is part-time. During his remaining time he is a Swedish-language professor of biomedicine and leads his own research group at the Institute of Biomedicine and the Neuroscience Centre. The group is in charge of zebra fish research and is currently studying the impact of histamine receptor antagonists on the brain in the treatment of alcoholism.  Preliminary studies indicate that the histamine H3 receptor antagonist reduces alcohol consumption and the related pleasure response among rats and mice.

According to Panula, the H3 receptor antagonists could be adopted for treatment of alcoholism in humans, but it would have to be supported by behavioural therapy.

“Adoption of this drug would be the crowning achievement of my career. This would also impact the children and families of alcoholics who would see the release of a drug which can reduce the drinking of a person addicted to alcohol.”

Curriculum Vitae

Contact details

Vice-Rector
Pertti Panula
pertti.panula@helsinki.fi
PO Box 3
00014 University of Helsinki

Executive assistant
Jessica Ruotsalainen
tel. 02941 57664
jessica.ruotsalainen@helsinki.fi

The director of administration shall manage the general administration of the University in support of the rector; be responsible for the efficient, economic and effective management of the University administration; monitor issues concerning the University; present initiatives for the development of the University administration; and attend to other duties assigned to him or her by the rector. The director of administration shall also serve as the secretary general of the Board of the University.

The director of administration shall bear overall responsibility for the human resources, finances and assets of the unit under his or her leadership.

Esa Hämäläinen, Master of Social Sciences, is the Director of Administration of the University of Helsinki.

Curriculum Vitae

Contact information

Esa Hämäläinen
Tel: +358 2941 22212
admindirector@helsinki.fi
P.O. Box 3
FI-00014 University of Helsinki

Executive Assistant
Liisa Hirvonen
Tel: +358 2941 22396 
liisa.hirvonen@helsinki.fi
P.O. Box 3
FI-00014 University of Helsinki