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Aalto University (Finnish: Aalto-yliopisto, Swedish: Aalto-universitetet) is a university primarily located in Greater Helsinki, Finland. It was established in 2010 as a merger of three major Finnish universities: the Helsinki University of Technology (established 1849), theHelsinki School of Economics (established 1904), and the University of Art and Design Helsinki (established 1871). The close collaboration between the scientific, business and arts communities is intended to foster multi-disciplinary education and research. The Finnish government, in 2010, set out to create a university that fosters innovation, merging the three institutions into one.
The university is composed of six schools with over 20,000 students and 4,700 staff members, making it Finland's third-largest university. The main campus of Aalto University is located in Otaniemi, Espoo, where the engineering schools as well as the bachelor programs of the School of Business operate. Other functions of the School of Business are located in Töölö. The School of Arts, Design and Architecture is located in Arabianranta (set to be relocated to Otaniemi in 2017). In addition, the university operates several units outside Greater Helsinki in Mikkeli, Pori and Vaasa.
Aalto university's operations showcase Finland’s experiment in higher education. The Aalto Design Factory, AppCampus, ADD LAB and Aalto Ventures Program, among others, drive the university's mission for a radical shift towards multidisciplinary learning and have contributed substantially to the emergence of Helsinki as a hotbed for startups. Aaltoes, which stands for Aalto Entrepreneurship Society, is Europe’s largest student run entrepreneurship community and organises the Startup Sauna accelerator program for startups, raising more than US$36 million in funding since 2010.
The university is named in honour of Alvar Aalto, a prominent Finnish architect, designer and alumnus of the former Helsinki University of Technology, who was also instrumental in designing a large part of the university's main campus in Otaniemi.
Department of Management Studies
The Department of Management Studies offers a dynamic environment for scholarship and learning, where cutting-edge research underpins high-quality teaching.
The Department is the largest of the six acacemic departments at the School of Business, with 26 professors, and the total number of faculty, researchers and staff is over 100.
The Department hosts five disciplinary units:
- International Business
- Organization and Management
- Organizational Communication
- Philosophy of Management
Aalto University was established as a priority project in Finnish university renewal. The first idea of a new innovative university merging art, technology and economics was presented by then rector of the University of Art and Design, Yrjö Sotamaa, in his opening speech for the academic year in autumn 2005. A more concrete plan was presented for the establishment of a new university in February 2007, in the memorandum of the working group led by Secretary of State Raimo Sailas. The preparation of the university began later the same spring, when the initiation of the university was entered by Prime Minister Matti Vanhanen into the government programme.
Established in 2010, Aalto University is strongly future-oriented while at the same time building on the combined 300-year-history of three highly-regarded universities. It was created by a merger of the Helsinki School of Economics, Helsinki University of Technology and the University of Art and Design Helsinki.
The Aalto University charter was signed in June 2008. On 19 December 2008, Professor Tuula Teeri was selected by the Board to be the first President of Aalto University. The university started operating on 1 January 2010.
A new university with centuries of experience
The three schools are all leading and renowned institutions in their respective fields and in their own right. Whilst proud of its heritage, Aalto University is not resting on its laurels but sees its tripartite nature as an excellent opportunity to redefine the role and functioning of modern European universities.
The Aalto University School of Art and Design was established in 1871 and has since grown into a leading art and design education institute (starting from 1 January 2012 called the Aalto University School of Arts, Design and Architecture).
The Aalto University School of Economics was established in 1904 by the business community and it received University standing in 1911.
The formerly independent TKK functioned as the Aalto University School of Science and Technology throughout 2010 and its activities continue from 1 January 2011 in the form of four Aalto University schools of technology corresponding to the former faculties of TKK. TKK was founded in 1849 and it received university status in 1908.
Rankings and accreditations
Accreditations and rankings are important ways for us to benchmark our performance and ensure that we keep up high quality and stay focused on aquiring new goals. The School of Business holds the Triple Crown status.
We are the first business school in Finland and the first business school in the Nordic countries to have received all three labels of excellence from the world’s leading business school accreditation bodies: AACSB, AMBA and EQUIS. This Triple Crown status is an honor held by only few business schools worldwide.
The first Nordic business school with AACSB accreditation
The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) accreditation is known worldwide as the most highly esteemed form of accreditation an institution and its business programmes can earn. Our AACSB accreditation certifies to current and potential students, employees, co-operation partners, companies and donors that Aalto as a university and the services provided by it are of a high international level.
AACSB accreditation is granted to an entire institution and covers all education in economics and business administration provided by that institution.
The Aalto University School of Business was awarded the AACSB accreditation as the first Nordic business school in 2007.
AMBA – only for MBA programmes of the highest quality
The MBA and EMBA programmes of the School of Business have been quality accredited by the Association of MBAs (AMBA). This gives students graduating from the programmes a better chance to succeed in the international job market.
AMBA accreditation pays special attention to the extensiveness of programmes, the balance of the content of studies and the business world work experience of students. Only a small number of highly advanced programmes have been granted AMBA accreditations. The MBA programme of the Aalto University School of Business received the AMBA accreditation for the first time in 1997.
The EMBA programme received the accreditation in 2004. In 2007, the entire MBA portfolio of the school was AMBA accredited.
EQUIS – a European quality guarantee
EQUIS (the European Quality Improvement System) accreditation proves that the School of Business is an international school that fulfils European quality standards.
The accreditation process examines areas such as the management system, the autonomy of decision-making, research, degree programmes and services. Special attention is paid to internationalisation and corporate relations.
The School of Business has been EQUIS accredited since 1998.
The School of Business is on the internationally recognised and appreciated European Business School Rankings published by the Financial Times newspaper. The ranking criteria used include the career and salary development of the graduates and overall international dimension of the teaching.
Associated costs in Finland are lower than in many other European countries: when entering, students must show that they have at least 560 euros per month for its own needs in their possession. This is the absolute minimum, approved by the immigration authorities, but it is recommended to have a supply (700-900 euros).
The Aalto University students are known for active student life.
An integral part of many student traditions play the brightly colored overalls worn to many events. The color of the overall signals what the student studies (e.g. the economy students are recognized from dollar green overalls). The student community has also organised important charity events. In fact, the name for these events tempaus, has entered common language to describe any carnival-like charity event.
The students of technology (teekkarit) are especially noticeable, as they wear a distinctive hat with a tuft on many occasions (both formal and informal). Technology students are also famous for, and Finland's leading practitioners of, student pranks (jäynä), similar in principle to MIT hacks. Their most widely publicised stunt took place in 1961, when a team of students smuggled a statue of Paavo Nurmi onto the 300-year-old wreck of Regalskeppet Vasa just days before its lifting from the bottom of the sea.
The students of economy are known for their parties in downtown Helsinki, where the economy student building hosts a lavish nightclub, the KY Klubi (the economy student club).
Although student traditions vary in between the different constituent schools common activities started to burgeon early after the foundation of Aalto University. The most noticeable student event of the first year of the university was Aalto on Tracks, where a group of 100 students came together to rent a private train which they traveled 10 000 km on from Helsinki to the Shanghai Expo enjoying multidisciplinary talks and workshops on the way. The event was such a success that the follow-up Aalto on waves is planned to arrange a trip by boat to South America. Aalto on Tracks also spurred students of Tongji University to arrange Tongji on Tracks which essentially takes the journey of Aalto on Tracks in the opposite direction.
Aalto Entrepreneurship Society is a multi-disciplinary society uniting students and graduates of all disciplines of the University. It aims to encourage high-tech, high-growth, scalable entrepreneurship by arranging get-togethers to spark ideas and innovations and aid start-up initiatives among the Aalto students.
Aalto Festival (formerly known as Masters of Aalto, and the Masters of Arts festival) is an annual event in May where the new professionals of the multidisciplinary university meet the public.
An extensive exhibition showcases a wide array of works: everything from distinguished theses, individual statements, concepts and products arising from commercial collaboration to works of art. For the graduating students, the exhibition is an opportunity to interact with society, future employers, the media and other influential parties.
In addition to the exhibition, MoA offers a varying program with seminars, discussions, films, workshops and guided tours.
Aalto University Student Uinon (Finnish: Aalto-yliopiston ylioppilaskunta, AYY in short) is the official student union of Aalto University. Every bachelor's and master's degree student enrolled in Aalto University is a member of the Student Union.
The purpose of AYY is to represent the students, look after their interests, and support the community of 15,000 students. AYY provides its members with a variety of services such as healthcare, recreation and housing. The Student Union is financed by membership fees, investments and profits from student housing.
Aalto University Student Union was formed in the beginning of 2010 through a merger between the respective student unions of the merged universities.
The Aalto University is also one of the two universities in Finland to host one or more Nations, a Finnish type of student corporation. AU's only nation is Teknologföreningen (TF)and its goal is to unite Swedish-speaking students at the university. The nation is housed in its peculiar building called Urdsgjallar. Since 1972, when the corresponding Finnish-speaking nation Tekniikan Ylioppilaat was abolished, there are no nations for the Finnish-speaking students, though the 15 regional nations at the University of Helsinki, both Finnish- and Swedish-speaking, do welcome AU students as members.
The Retuperä WBK is a student band that parodies a volunteer fire brigade brass band. In this picture Retuperä is performing in central Helsinki on top of their fire truck.
In addition to the student union, Aalto university students have formed numerous associations for studies, cultural activity and sports. There are more than 150 associations maintained by university students.
List of student associations
Currently this list includes only the associations known to have English Wikipedia articles.
- The Polytech Choir (Finnish: Polyteknikkojen kuoro)
- Polyteknikkojen Ilmailukerho
- Helsinki Academic Male Choir KYL (Finnish: Kauppakorkeakoulun Ylioppilaskunnan Laulajat)
The housing area of Otaniemi campus, known as Teekkarikylä (technology student village), is owned mostly by the student union and partly by HOAS (Helsinki Student Housing Fund). The housing is characterised by the presence of foreign students of many nationalities. As of 2005, the village offers housing for approximately 2,600 students.
Construction of the Otaniemi campus was started in 1950, in order for the first buildings to host the athletes of the 1952 Summer Olympics in Helsinki. Some of the building material originally used for the campus was acquired from the former Soviet Union embassy, which had been destroyed during World War II, as a result of bombings by theSoviet Union itself. The student housing has been used for housing athletes again in e.g. the 2005 World Championships in Athletics, sometimes to the dismay of the students that have to move out during the events. The quality of the Otaniemi student housing holds a high standard in international comparison.
Some student housing is also available in the vicinity of the other campuses.
The Otaniemi campus also contains the former student union building Dipoli, named as the second Poli, the successor of the first student union building in downtown Helsinki. Dipoli was designed by Reima and Raili Pietilä and completed in 1966. In 1993, the building was permanently rented to the university to act as a conference and continuing education center and later sold due to high maintenance costs. It is regularly used for conventions, congresses and student parties.
Why studying here?
We educate the influential leaders of tomorrow with over 100 years of experience. Aalto University School of Business is the leading business school in Finland and one of the top schools in Europe.
We build on our proud history as Helsinki School of Economics and on our recent achievements as part of Aalto University.
Profound learning experience
We provide our students with a profound learning experience in an international and multi-disciplinary environment. This helps them develop into valued experts, innovative entrepreneurs, and responsible business leaders for the future. We do this by:
- Supporting student learning through real-world challenges: Real cases, consultancy projects, andinternships,
- Helping students develop global mindsets through international exchange, internships abroad, and multinational educational programmes,
- Offering students multi-disciplinary courses and programmes taught by inspiring faculty members in addition to cutting-edge education in business studies and economics.
Research with impact
We advance the global body of knowledge in business studies and economics through research with impact by:
- Recruiting excellent faculty members and visiting professors,
- Continuing to raise the level of research towards world-class,
- Engaging in high-quality multi-disciplinary research on critical societal issues.
Development of business and society
We contribute through long-term partnerships and societal engagement to the development of business and society by:
- Pursuing long-term collaboration with corporations and other organisations for relevance and impact,
- Appointing Professors of Practice and Executives in Residence with deep professional knowledge, experience and close ties to society,
- Contributing to the competitiveness and development of society through active sharing of expert knowledge in business studies and economics.
- Building a strong alumni community.
We hold the Triple Crown status
School of Business is the first business school in the Nordic countries to have received all three labels of excellence from the world’s leading business school accreditation bodies: AACSB, AMBA and EQUIS. This Triple Crown status is an honor held by only few business schools worldwide.
The School of Business is an innovative and lively community of about 2,700* students and over 450 faculty and staff. Our campuses are in Helsinki and in Mikkeli, Finland. In Autumn 2015, our bachelor's degree students moved to the Otaniemi Campus of Aalto University.
At the School of Business, we offer studies on Bachelor's and Master's levels. We also educate doctoral students.