Mayor of Helsinki, Juhana Vartiainen.

“The University of Helsinki is not just an educational institution, but a vital part of the city”, says Mayor Vartiainen

There are many events open to all on the University of Helsinki’s online channels during the university’s 382nd anniversary week 21–25 March 2022. The anniversary speech by the Mayor of Helsinki, Juhana Vartiainen, was published today.

The role of the university in building Helsinki today and in the future is significant. New ideas and viewpoints emanating from the university help make the city more alive and competent. The university and the city are long-term strategic partners, and Helsinki will continue to be a research and experimental platform for the university and work closely with the university in many ways, including student traineeships and marketing of Helsinki. The vision is to be a global influencer through collaboration.

“One of the leading ideas in the current City Strategy is to involve researchers in our projects and create genuine research frames to develop the city. We firmly believe that we can improve Helsinki through cooperation with the university. It should also be noted that the university is not only a partner for the city but also for the businesses. Science-based innovations and inventions improve our lives, and successful business operations keep the society working,” says Mayor Vartiainen in his anniversary week speech.

The most recent joint projects include the development of the Viikki, Kumpula and Meilahti campuses as innovation clusters and the launching of business incubators on the campuses to support student- and research-oriented entrepreneurship.

Incubator activities are developed within the Campus Incubators programme launched last autumn. The programme helps develop incubators in the Helsinki region more systematically and lays the foundations for a more close-knit innovation ecosystem. The incubators bring together top Finnish research, student innovations and Helsinki’s strong startup ecosystem. Besides the University of Helsinki, several higher education institutions participate in the programme. The aim is to create a hundred new companies in a year through incubation activities on campuses.

In his speech, Mayor Vartiainen, who has studied in four faculties at the University of Helsinki, expresses his gratitude to the university community that is important to him even today.

“I am immensely grateful for all that the academic world has brought, and continues to bring, to my life. You can all be proud to be members of the University of Helsinki community. It makes you a part of a story that has shaped the world through science ever since 1640. Be proud of that; I certainly am! Happy Anniversary, University of Helsinki!”

The Mayor’s speech will be made available, for example, on the university’s YouTube channel from 22 March onwards. There will also be videos related to other alumni’s ‘favourite university memories’ published the same day and plenty of other daily programmes available online throughout the anniversary week.

More information:

Celebration of the anniversary of the University of Helsinki

(including more detailed programme information)


Photo: Heikki Janhunen / Unigrafia