Studies in the Design for the Performing Arts major to be relocated from Aalto University to Uniarts Helsinki

Uniarts Helsinki will begin to offer the studies starting from 1 August 2021. The transfer has received strong support from the staff and students.
Photo: Julia Weckman
Photo: Julia Weckman

Relocating the Design for the Performing Arts major from Aalto University to Uniarts Helsinki’s Theatre Academy will strengthen the teaching provided in performing arts: thanks to the change, the subject will soon be offered under the same roof as several other degree programmes in performing arts. Teaching and research in the Production Design and Costume Design majors in the Programme in Design for Theatre, Film and Television will continue to run at Aalto University.

”In the future, teaching in Design for the Performing Arts will engage in even closer interaction with other fields in performing arts, such as theatre and dance. This transfer will create synergy even elsewhere at Uniarts Helsinki, as it will surely benefit Time and Space Arts at the Academy of Fine Arts and the Opera Training at the Sibelius Academy. However, our wide-scale cooperation with Aalto University will continue also in the future,” says Uniarts Helsinki’s Rector Jari Perkiömäki.

For already a while now, students and staff of Design for the Performing Arts have been in favour and even hoped for the relocation of the major to Uniarts Helsinki. Dean Tuomas Auvinen from Aalto University School of Arts, Design and Architecture also finds the reorganising practical in terms of the development of the entire field.

”A large part of the studies in the major have already been organised in cooperation with Uniarts Helsinki’s Theatre Academy. In the future, scenography studies will be linked to other performing arts even more closely than before. This is not the end of cooperation, however, and Design for the Performing Arts will continue to collaborate with Aalto University’s cinematography major, for example,” notes Auvinen.

At Aalto University, Design for the Performing Arts has been a major subject offered as part of a more extensive degree programme. At Uniarts Helsinki, the studies will be arranged within their own degree programme. In practice, this means that Aalto University will no longer offer the major, and the studies will be launched as a new degree programme at Uniarts Helsinki starting from 1 August 2021. Aalto University and Uniarts Helsinki will carry out the transfer arrangements and the planning and organising of teaching in close cooperation with each other in accordance with their mutual agreement.

As a result of the transfer, students of the Design for the Performing Arts major will become students of Uniarts Helsinki. However, the Universities Act guarantees that students have the right to continue their studies at the original university for three years after the studies have been relocated to a different institution. In this case, the time time limit is 31 July 2024. Therefore, the current bachelor and master-level students as well as the applicants to be admitted this spring can choose whether they wish to complete their degree at Uniarts Helsinki or Aalto University. In spring 2021, applicants to the programme will apply to Uniarts Helsinki.

Aalto University and Uniarts Helsinki have discussed the future of the Design for the Performing Arts major starting from 2018 and reflected on how the arrangements would affect the teaching, students and staff. The working group in charge of this work was chaired by Head of the Department of Film, Television and Scenography Anna Heiskanen from Aalto University and Dean Maarit Ruikka from Uniarts Helsinki’s Theatre Academy.

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