Aalto Handbook


Aalto University is a foundation-based university with six schools. On this site, you can find information on Aalto's organisation and governance model.

Organisational structure and organisation of services

Scientific research, artistic activities and teaching are carried out at Aalto University's six schools and their departments and units. Schools are responsible for research and education within their own fields based on university's strategy, school's annually updated strategic plans (Our Plan), budget and university's joint rules and principles.

Organisation chart
Organisation of Aalto University

The schools consist of departments and separate units. In addition, the university and the schools may have joint units with other universities and universities of applied sciences, as well as research institutes and corporate bodies. More information on schools, departments and other units is available on their webpages. University's organisation and governance is further described in section 'Management' in this handbook. 

Schools, departments and units

Scientific research, artistic activities and teaching are carried out at Aalto's six schools and their departments and units.

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Appointment of executive bodies and relations between them

The relations between the university's executive bodies, the board, the academic affairs committee (AAC) and the president, and the appointment of these bodies are regulated in the Universities Act, in the Foundations Act and the University's Constitution and Bylaws which are based on these regulations. The premise is the division of powers between the executive bodies: on the one hand, they have an explicit division of responsibilities and independent authority that the other body cannot exercise, and on the other hand, mutual responsibility for the cooperation and monitoring of the activities of the other executive bodies. In accordance with the principle of university democracy, the university community elects among its members a tripartite committee that decides on academic affairs such as admission criteria, curricula and degree requirements.

Infografics for Handbook
Appointment of the highest decision-making bodies

Decision making and preparation

Aalto University is a foundation university, and its decision-making and administration are organised in accordance with the Universities Act and the Foundations Act. Academic affairs and the management of the university's and schools' activities, as well as the preparation of joint matters, are organised by ensuring the utilisation of the expertise of the university community and joint discussion and participation.

In accordance with the Universities Act and Foundations Act, management and decision-making are the responsibilities of three decision making bodies: the Board, the President and the Academic Affairs Committee. Universities may determine the detailed organisation of decision-making and the preparation of decisions independently, within their autonomy.

The bylaws of Aalto University and Schools (Aalto University Foundation’s Constitution, the Bylaws of the University and Schools) and the President's decisions

  • describe the tasks and responsibilities of different bodies and actors
  • organise the preparation of decision-making, as well as the consultation, participation and influence of the university units and the community.

Different management and steering groups coordinate the daily activities of the university and prepare proposals for the president and the board. In practice, all decisions affecting joint activities are made in cooperation with all units.


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 the daily work at the university and the preparation of pre-decision motions.

The management teams and steering groups coordinate the daily work at the university and the preparation of pre-decision motions.

Community views and expertise in decision making

Open discussion as well as everyone’s opportunity to participate and follow the preparation of decision-making on implementation of strategy and the common matters are key values of the Aalto University’s operating culture and the organisation of decision-making.

Participation and consultation take place through community events, and also in various expert forums and statutory bodies with representatives from different areas of expertise, schools, personnel groups and students. Members of preparatory bodies may be contacted to convey development ideas and feedback to decision-making.

The Aalto community has participated, for example, in the preparation of the university's strategy and common principles, such as Code of Conduct, and other matters relevant for whole community such as campus vision, hybrid-ways of working and developing space utilisation.

Especially when discussing matters with societal impact, representatives of alumni and stakeholders are also often invited to participate.

Community views and expertise support in decision making

Other actors

Other bodies that play an integral role in the administration of academic affairs at Aalto University include the Doctoral Education Working Group (DEWG), Research Ethics Committee, and Academic Appeals Board. The tasks of these bodies are vital for the healthy functioning and development of academic activities and processes at the University.
Aalto University’s academic joint units consist of Aalto University Junior, Language Centre, Aalto University Open University, OtaNano, Aalto University Design Factory, and Aalto Ventures Program.

Yliopiston päärakennuksen Dipolin neuvotteluhuoneen pöytä ja tuolit. Kuva: Aalto-yliopisto / Tuomas Uusheimo.

Other actors

Get to know other important actors at Aalto University and their organisation and responsibilities.

Aalto Handbook

Aalto University Group

Aalto University Foundation and its subsidiary companies and enterprises constitute the Aalto University Group. 

Aalto University / Learning Centre / Photo by Tuomas Uusheimo

Aalto University Group

Aalto University Group owns several business enterprises. Aalto University Properties Ltd is the largest of these.

Aalto University


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