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Aalto University’s academic results and international recognition maintained momentum in 2020

The university was able to promptly adjust to the exceptional situation caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
Kaksi henkilö Dipolissa.
Photo: Aalto University / Unto Rautio.

The Aalto University Board approved the Annual Board Report and Financial Statements for 2020 in its meeting on 17 March 2020. The year 2020 was the university’s 11th year of operations.

The university operations during 2020 were significantly shaped by the coronavirus pandemic. The university was able to promptly adjust to the exceptional situation and continue its key activities under the new circumstances. Ensuring the wellbeing of both students and personnel was one of the key priorities of 2020. In addition, Aalto University launched a series of research and development projects to participate in finding solutions in the fight against the global pandemic. 

Despite the pandemic, Aalto University’s academic results maintained momentum in 2020. The number of most cited top 10% publications totalled 1 512, which was at the previous year’s level (1 512 in 2019). In total 1 340 (1 340) students completed a bachelor's degree, 1 952 (1 961) completed a master's degree, and 214 (235) a doctorate.

The positive development was also reflected in the international recognition and ranking results of Aalto University. In the Times Higher Education’s University Rankings, the university was ranked the 35th (37th) most international university in the world. The QS World University Rankings Top 50 Under 50, which features the world’s 150 best universities under 50 years old, placed Aalto 9th (9th) worldwide and 3rd (3rd) within Europe.

The long-term campus development programme proceeded as planned. The renovations of Aalto University Töölö, the former main building of the School of Business, and the Metsähovi radio observatory were completed. The renovation of the old Otaniemi shopping centre began and the work to extend the A Grid startup centre continued. A novel energy solution based on heat pumps is being developed in collaboration with Fortum for the Aalto Works block, which is under renovation. The solution is expected to reduce heating and cooling emissions of the campus by 25 per cent.

The purpose of Aalto University is to shape a sustainable future. Addressing the major challenges facing society, such as climate change and growing social inequalities, is a key goal of the university. The university aims to have a carbon neutral campus by the year 2030.

The pandemic did not have a material impact on the financial position of the university. The biggest items in operative income were funding from the Ministry of Education and Culture and research grants from Academy of Finland, EU and Business Finland. Personnel expenses formed 68% (64%) and facility expenses 12% (12%) of the operative expenses. The university’s pro forma operative loss was €15 (€32) million.

The endowment profit totaled €41 million (€153 million). The endowment profit mainly consisted of changes in portfolio allocation and individual investment funds. There was also a positive change in the fair value of the endowment portfolio due to the strong recovery of the financial markets after the pandemic shock in spring.

Aalto University Group's balance sheet totalled €1 871 (€1 829) million at the end of the financial year.
 

Aalto University pro forma income statement 2020 2019
Operative income 343 339
Operative expenses 358 371
Operative profit/loss -15 -32
Endowment profit/loss 41 153
Financing activities profit/loss -3 12
Fundraising profit/loss 1 3
Transfer to special purpose funds -4 -6
Net profit of the financial year 20 130

 

Read more:

Annual Board Report and Financial Statements 2020Key figures of Aalto University in 2020

Aalto University endowment provided EUR 36 million to fund education and research

Sustainability reports

 

 

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