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Professor Otto Toivanen and Professor Hannu Vartiainen to lead Helsinki Graduate School of Economics

The Governing Board of Helsinki GSE has selected Professor Toivanen to be Academic Director and Professor Vartiainen to be Academic Deputy Director.

The goal of Helsinki GSE, which was founded by Aalto University, the University of Helsinki, and Hanken School of Economics, is to compete for researchers and students with the world's leading units of economics, to offer the framework for high-level master's and doctoral level education, and to produce internationally cutting-edge research in central areas of economics.

Otto Toivanen, who has been selected as Academic Director for Helsinki GSE, is a professor of microeconomics who has specialised in competition and markets.

“The importance of being able to quantitatively examine social phenomena is growing. This is due to the rapid increase in the amount of data and the development of analysis methods. Quantitative analysis is also needed in order to expand the use of markets. For example, the specification of the freedom of choice principles for the social welfare and healthcare reform or the rules for the increasingly open rail transport market requires a systematic approach and scientific, economic examination based on empirical data. There must be sufficient certainty that the rules will direct businesses to compete on the right matters from a social perspective. The continual development of quantitative analysis is also important as a basis for decision-making in financial, monetary and trade policy,” Otto Toivanen says.

“International competition for expertise is fierce in the private, public and academic sector. The goal of Helsinki GSE is to respond to this challenge and to grow to become a highly respected European economic research and education unit,” Otto Toivanen explains.

More extensive opportunities for studies and a strong base for cooperation among researchers

With the help of new professorships, increasing cooperation, and the efficient concentration of skilled people, Helsinki GSE will be able to increase the number of master's degrees and doctorates and to respond to the need for skilled personnel in the field of economics. 

Professor Hannu Vartiainen, who has been selected as Academic Deputy Director, has specialised in microeconomic theory. 

“The development of economic methods and the changes in society mean that a reassessment of the structures, content and quality of teaching is required. Our goal is to develop a comprehensive set of master’s and doctoral programs which is internationally competitive, takes overall responsibility for the country’s top level economics education and produces significant added value for society. This we will achieve by making more efficient and consistent use of the three universities’ teaching resources and by developing research and teaching cooperation that extends to other sectors,” Hannu Vartiainen explains. 

Helsinki GSE will be fully operational by 2022, by which point the aim is to increase the number of professorships from the current 20 to a total of 35. Helsinki GSE’s Research Master programme, which prepares students for doctoral and postgraduate study, will begin in Autumn 2018.

Further information:

Helsinki GSE Chair of the Board, Governor Erkki Liikanen, Bank of Finland, tel. +358 9 183 2010, [email protected]

Helsinki GSE Academic Director, Professor Otto Toivanen, Aalto University, tel. +358 50 3537651,  [email protected]

Helsinki GSE Academic Deputy Director, Professor Hannu Vartiainen, University of Helsinki,  tel. +358 40 7206808, [email protected]

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