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City of students

The roots of Helsinki as a city of students are long. The University of Helsinki was founded as early as 1640. The university is consistently ranked among the 30 best universities in Europe. Helsinki wants to be a fun and functional city of events, where students play key roles.

The Helsinki Region will need growing numbers of skilled workers in the future. Therefore the City wants to attract students from abroad and promote their settling and employment in the region.

The City of Helsinki liaison for student affairs is Senior Planning Officer
Ida Björkbacka, ida.bjorkbacka(at)

Young people with bikes. Photo: Jussi Hellsten, City of Helsinki

Helsinki wants to be an excellent place for studies and science

The City is cooperating closely with the World Student Capital network, consisting of student unions in the Helsinki Metropolitan Area, and strives to develop into an ever more functioning city of students.

A 2019 Finnish-language study on students in the City, Opiskelijan kaupunki 2019, provides information about students' housing, mobility and participation in the Helsinki Metropolitan Area. The study also deals with the employment of international students and independent studying of students at institutes of higher education. The study functions as a tool for developing student-oriented services in the Helsinki Metropolitan Area.

"The City of Helsinki’s goal is to be an excellent place for studies and science for all of our students. The City can especially see to it that there is housing for all students and that they will experience smooth mobility," said Deputy Mayor for Urban Environment Anni Sinnemäki.

"Helsinki is growing in a fast pace, and just building enough housing does not guarantee that student won't be left without a place to live. Students appreciate the uncomplicated and reasonably priced public transport, especially the track connections as well as good cycling conditions – investing in these is in the interest of Helsinki as a whole."

The Opiskelijan kaupunki 2019 survey (PDF, in Finnish)
The Research Foundation for Education (Otus)

Helsinki University Think Corner. Photo: Jussi Hellsten, City of Helsinki

Attracting international talent (Talent Boost) 

The City of Helsinki wants to create stronger networks between business life, institutes of higher education, cities and international experts in the Helsinki Metropolitan Area. A project about international talents boosting companies’ growth (Kansainväliset osaajat yritysten kasvun vauhdittajina) focuses on attracting foreign experts to businesses in the Helsinki Metropolitan Area and supporting internationalisation of the companies, especially in business sectors with a labour shortage. 

The focus is placed on integrating new, international employees and their family members and making the integration process smoother by taking advantage of the services provided by International House Helsinki.

The project also aims to help international talent already situated in the area such as foreign degree-seeking students, establish themselves on the job market by adding working life contacts and periods for students.  The project is compiling the international talent supply of institutes of higher education in the Helsinki Metropolitan Area. The aim is to build a sustainable operations model for cooperation between institutes of higher education and businesses. 

Until April 2021, the City of Helsinki will be the main driving force behind the project. The City is joined by 11 other regional actors: The City of Espoo, the City of Vantaa, the Helsinki Region Chamber of Commerce, Helsinki Marketing, Helsinki Business Hub, Aalto University, Hanken School of Economics, the University of Helsinki, Haaga-Helia University of Applied Sciences, Laurea University of Applied Sciences and Metropolia University of Applied Sciences.

The project is funded by the Talent Boost AIKO programme, which is managed by the Council of Tampere Region. Helsinki-Uusimaa Regional Council and Academic Engineers and Architects in Finland TEK are also funding the project. 

More information: Project Manager Tanja Malo,

Photos: Jussi Hellsten, City of Helsinki

21.10.2020 11:48