Internal restructuring
Manner-Suomi; Etelä-Suomi; Uusimaa
Location of affected unit(s)
Vet, Higher And Tertiary Education
85.42 - Tertiary education

980 jobs
Number of planned job losses
Job loss
Announcement Date
27 January 2016
Employment effect (start)
Foreseen end date


The University of Helsinki in Finland will cut 980 jobs by the end of 2017. In total 570 employees will be directly dismissed and the remaining 410 positions will be cut through retirements and non-renewal of current contracts. Dismissals will start during spring 2016 and will be carried out throughout the year. The reason for the redundancies are reduced grants from the Finnish government. The University of Helsinki has to save €106 million by 2020.  Employer-employee negotiations were initiated in September and were concluded in November, but a compromise between union representatives and the employer could not be struck. Initially 1200 jobs were threatened. The number of total redundancies has been lowered by the establishment through several cost-saving procedures proposed by the staff, for example centralising the procurement process, more effective acquisition of external grants and the use of smaller rooms for teaching purposes.

Mainly administrative staff will be affected by the direct dismissals: 475 employees in the administrative branch will be dismissed and 75 employees working with teaching and research will be dismissed. 

In response to the major cutbacks demonstrations have occurred in Helsinki during autumn 2015 and students of the University of Helsinki have occupied university buildings in protest.

The Finnish government is in total reducing the grants to Finnish universities by €600 million during 2016-2020, leading to redundancies at many of the 14 Finnish universities. The ERM has reported on ongoing employer-employee negotiations at Aalto UniversityÅbo Akademithe University of Eastern Finland and Lappeenranta Univeristy of Technology

Update 13/6/2016:The first lay-offs were executed in May when 371 employees were made redundant. Of these 371 employees 48 worked with education and research and 323 worked in the administrative branch of the university.


  • 27 January 2016: University of Helsinki (Pressrelease)
  • 9 December 2015: University of Helsinki
  • 14 January 2016: Svenska YLE
  • 17 September 2015: Hufvudstadsbladet (HBL)


Eurofound (2016), University of Helsinki, Internal restructuring in Finland, factsheet number 86374, European Restructuring Monitor. Dublin, https://restructuringeventsprod.azurewebsites.net/restructuring-events/detail/86374.