Aalto, Hanken and University of Helsinki to increase the number of top experts in economics with Helsinki Graduate School of Economics

Aalto University, Hanken School of Economics, and the University of Helsinki are preparing a joint unit; Helsinki Graduate School of Economics (Helsinki GSE), which will expand the cutting edge of economic expertise in Finland.

At the moment, the cutting edge of Finnish economics is of high international quality, but narrow. At the same time, the amount of consumer data keeps on growing in the business world, which increases the opportunities for data-based decision-making and demand for economics experts. The health, social services and regional government reform will substantially increase the need for economic competence both at the national and regional level.

Aalto University, Hanken School of Economics, and the University of Helsinki are preparing a joint Helsinki Graduate School of Economics (Helsinki GSE) unit, which will expand the cutting edge of economic expertise in Finland. Its research activities and doctoral programmes are to cover all the key areas of economics. This will allow increase in the number of Master's and doctoral degrees and responding to the demand for experts.

Helsinki GSE will expand the cutting edge of economic expertise in Finland. Photo Aino Huovio.

Aalto considers the establishment of the Helsinki GSE as a central and necessary act for building Finnish success: both the public and private sectors need top-level expertise of international level. 

'Hubs of expertise that measure up to world standards in significance and strength are the key to maintain the competitive edge of Finland. The goal of Helsinki GSE is to function as this kind of unit which can act as a leading figure in major international networks,' Ilkka Niemelä, President of Aalto University, says.

The Helsinki GSE will be built into an international graduate school and research unit that will compete for the best researchers and students with the world's top units within the field of economics. The number of professorships would increase from the present 20 to 35. The quantity of degrees would also increase. Once the Helsinki GSE has begun to function in its full capacity by 2022, there would be approximately 50 percent more masters and twice as many doctors graduating from the universities in the Helsinki metropolitan area than today.

'With Helsinki GSE, The School of Business will widen its top-level expertise in economics. Furthermore, we can offer even more attractive possibilities in doctoral studies and research for international scholars,' Ingmar Björkman, Dean and Professor of the School of Business, says.


Helsinki GSE fully functional in 2020
  • Aalto University, University of Helsinki and Hanken are preparing a unit called Helsinki Graduate School of Economics (Helsinki GSE) to meet the increasing demand for expertise in economics.
  • In 2020, when Helsinki GSE is fully functional, the number of Masters degrees awarded would increase to 120 per year (now 80), and the number of Doctorates to 15 (now 8). The universities will award the degrees the same way they do at the moment.
  • Helsinki GSE will coordinate professorships and the recruitment of new professors in economics in the three universities. New junior- and senior-level professors will be recruited internationally.
  • In addition to current professorships, 15 new professor chairs will be established. In this way, Helsinki GSE would meet the international high-level research standard of 35 professorships.
  • In addition to doctoral studies, the unit will be responsible for the research master’s education which prepares the students of Aalto, University of Helsinki, and Hanken for doctoral studies.
  • Top-level international research will be expanded to all major fields of economics: macroeconomics, public economics, applied microeconomics, and data-driven decision-making
  • The universities will now start preparing the establishment of Helsinki GSE in their own administrative systems.


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