One of Finland’s most international schools

Through increased student exchange during the past decade the Aalto University School of Arts, Design and Architecture is still the only institute of learning in the country with more students enrolling from foreign countries than students leaving for studies abroad.

A growing number of the School's own degree students complete part of their studies abroad. The School has dozens of foreign professors, researchers and well known professionals. In addition, the School of Arts, Design and Architecture hosts of over 150 foreign instructors, teachers, professors and other experts a year to lecture and to lead workshops and seminars. It is possible to complete a degree both in English and in Finnish.

Alongside short and long-term mobility programmes, opportunities for international interaction are provided by various intensive courses, trainee schemes, seminars and study projects and international exhibitions etc.

Agreements on cooperation have been signed with over 196 European and overseas university and colleges. There are collaborating universities on all the continents, and in recent years relations have particularly been reinforced with Southeast Asia and South America.


Networked international cooperation is one of the characteristic features of the school. The Cumulus organization coordinated by the school is unique in its field: the world's only global cooperative forum representing education and research in the fields of art, design and media.


Nordic cooperation takes mainly place via the Cirrus network of the Nordplus programme. Cirrus involves 21 universities and colleges and is coordinated by the Aalto University School of Arts, Design and Architecture. It was founded in 1990.

Collaboration with neighbouring regions is on the agenda of the School, too; sister universities in Baltic countries and Northwest Russia and other partners there are important.


Cumulus (Cumulus International Association of Universities and Colleges of Art, Design and Media) was founded in 1990 by the former University of Art and Design Helsinki TAIK with Royal College of Art London. Danmarks Designskole, Gerrit Rietvelt Academy, Universität Gesamthochschule Essen and Universität für Angewandte Kunst in Wien joined Cumulus in the very beginning.

Cumulus Secretariat is hosted by Aalto University School of Arts, Design and Architecture in Helsinki. Cumulus has grown over the years to a global association and in 2010 Cumulus had 169 members world wide from 43 countries.

Cumulus organizes annually two major conferences but also seminars, courses, workshops and exhibitions. Cumulus collaborates with companies and organizations. Cumulus has so far agreed to organize conferences till 2015. Cumulus partners do among them student, teacher and staff mobility, intensive courses, curriculum development and research.


Network of Leading Design Research and Innovation Centers (NELDRIC)

NELDRIC is a network founded at the former School of Art and Design by 15 art and design universities and research centers from Europe, Asia and North-America. The founding meeting was organized by the invitation of Professor Yrjö Sotamaa, the previous rector of University of Art and Design Helsinki.

The purpose of the network is to promote the research and innovation activities of design in the world, to intensify the flow of information between the participating organizations, and to increase co-operation between the participating organizations.

Page content by: | Last updated: 01.02.2015.