A Message from the Lord Mayor
Development in the Hands of the City Council
The Lord Mayor´s Sector
A Wide Range of Services
City Planning and Infrastructure
Municipal Business Enterprises and Technical Services
Brief facts about Helsinki




The general, vocational and adult education services provided by the City of Helsinki are of acknowledged high quality. There are 207 comprehensive schools and upper secondary schools. Although education in most is through the medium of Finnish, there are 28 schools for Swedish-speakers and several others using English, German, Russian, French or any of several other languages. Education and school meals are free, as is school material in comprehensive schools. Adult Education Centres offer an impressively wide range of possibilities for people wishing to develop themselves in different subjects and fields.

The City Library has a network of 35 well-stocked branches offering both traditional printed material and computer services and Internet stations for the use of residents.

The City is also proud to offer residents a large variety of cultural events and activities. The Helsinki City Museum comprises several separate institutions, each specialising in a different area. Helsinki also has its own art museum, which boasts a considerable collection of Finish contemporary work. A new building for the Museum of Contemporary Art opened at the end of May 1998.

The Helsinki City Theatre and the Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra are well-known institutions, which offer an impressive palette of cultural events meeting high international standards. The new Opera House is likewise a source of pride.
The Helsinki Zoo presents a vast variety of species in conditions corresponding as closely as possible to their natural habitats.
Among the other amenities provided by the City are sports fields, recreation areas, sports halls, tennis courts and indoor swimming pools. Sports events for both young and old are organised by the City, which also runs youth centres and clubs and arranges a wide variety of leisure activities.

A very wide range of high-quality educational, cultural and leisure services is guaranteed in Helsinki and the level of learning among the inhabitants is high. Provision has also been made to meet the needs of immigrants. The guiding principles in the development of services have been open cooperation and recognition of the needs of residents.

The special requirements of the metropolitan region and the wishes of employers have been taken into consideration in the overall development of vocational training. Projects to provide a polytechnic and a vocational institute in the city have supported the achievement of this goal.

The range of cultural services is being diversified and improved thanks to the new physical facilities being provided and the major cultural events for which planning is now in progress. Helsinki will be celebrating its 450th anniversary in 2000 and also playing its role as one of the nine European Cities of Culture that year.
A physical exercise programme in which the needs of the future are taken carefully into account is now being drafted. Helsinki is also one of three cities that are making a joint bid to host the Winter Olympics in 2006.


Information technology storming schools

Computers, information networks and programmes are developing at astonishing speed. Today's technologies and those of the future will present us with opportunities that we can only guess at today.

The Helsinki school system's information technology project is intended to provide general schools with the resources they need to ensure that students acquire the basic skills they need to cope with the demands of the information society.
By the end of last year, more than 60 per cent of schools were interfaced with the telecoms network. By the end of the millennium, all schools in the city will be using the information network as an aid to teaching and learning.

One of the most important sub-areas of the project is training. The more teachers are trained in the use of information technology, the more successful also pupils will be in their efforts to learn. That is because new technology introduces into the learning situation a new element that increases motivation.

Special focus on employment

As part of its determined drive to boost employment, the City has launched a project to seek new opportunities for job creation and, through a range of measures, help the unemployed to return to working life. The project is linked to several EU employment-promotion programmes.

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