The organisation and strategy of the HEI

The organisation of Aalto University

Aalto University is a foundation-based university founded in 2010 by the merger of the Helsinki School of Economics, the University of Art and Design Helsinki and the Helsinki University of Technology. Scientific research, artistic activities and teaching are carried out at Aalto University’s six schools and their departments and units. The schools are responsible for research and education within their own fields based on the university’s strategy, the schools’ annually updated strategic plans (‘Our plan’), their budget and the university’s joint rules and principles.

The executive bodies of the university are the Board (AUFB), the President, and the University Academic Affairs Committee (AAC). Their roles and responsibilities are described in the Aalto University Constitution and Bylaws. The management teams and steering groups coordinate operative work at the university and the preparation of pre-decision motions.

Aalto University management consists of the President, Provost, Vice Presidents for Research, Education and Innovation, the Deans of the university’s six schools and the Service Directors of the seven service functions. Schools are led by deans who are assisted by vice deans. The departments are led by department heads assisted by vice department heads. Other relevant committees, advisory boards and groups also support decision-making. The organisation is described in Figure 1, and more detailed information is available in the Aalto Handbook.Figure 1. Organisation of Aalto University

Figure 1. Organisation of Aalto University


Aalto University’s diverse community and lively campus

Aalto University has around 12,600 fulltime-equivalent degree students. Each year, our students earn about 200 doctoral degrees, 1,800 master’s degrees, 1,500 bachelor’s degrees and 300 MBA and EMBA certificates. The university has about 4,000 employees, of which nearly 400 are professors. The share of international academic faculty is 47%. See other key figures and reports.

Aalto University operates from its main campus located in Otaniemi, Espoo, and at its other locations in Metsähovi, Töölö and Mikkeli. The Otaniemi campus has developed into a lively collaboration hub, where companies, start-ups, technology parks and the university campus support the creation of new knowledge and innovation. Learn more about our campus here and take a virtual campus tour.

Aalto University’s living strategy – Shaping a sustainable future

Aalto University has adopted a living strategy tailored to a world in motion. Our purpose, values and way of working define our long-term direction. We choose development areas and actions that drive us towards our purpose. As a community, we proactively and continuously re-evaluate our choices.

The purpose of Aalto University is to shape a sustainable future (Figure 2). Our long-term direction is based on high-quality research, education and impact, as well as our shared values – responsibility, courage and collaboration. We strive to make breakthroughs in and around science, art, technology and business, to spark the game changers of tomorrow and to create innovative solutions that tackle global grand challenges. We renew society with research-based knowledge, creativity and an entrepreneurial mindset.

The focus of our long-term development is to drive excellence in research, future-led learning in education and an inspiring ecosystem in impact. To enable our success, we encourage participation, curiosity and collaboration, as well as promoting the wellbeing of Aalto community members. To drive our purpose of Shaping a sustainable future, we have chosen three cross-cutting approaches that we strive to integrate in everything we do: solutions for sustainability, radical creativity and an entrepreneurial mindset. Read more on our strategy.Figure 2. Aalto University’s living strategy

Figure 2. Aalto University’s living strategy

Aalto has seven key research areas: (1) ICT and digitalisation, (2) materials and the sustainable use of natural resources, (3) arts and design knowledge building, (4) global business dynamics, (5) advanced energy solutions, (6) human-centred living environments and (7) health and wellbeing. These key areas combine our four core competences in the fields of ICT, materials, arts, design and business together with three grand challenges related to energy, the living environment and health.

Aalto University’s joint and school-specific strategic plans are updated annually in the University Dialogue process and documented in Our plan. The strategic plans incorporate a clear focus on development and our long-term direction, as well as specific actions and milestones.