Aalto University main campus to be located in Otaniemi
The Aalto University Board has decided that the main campus of Aalto University will be located in Otaniemi, Espoo. Upon a decision made by the Board as well Aalto University School of Art and Design and the Department of Architecture will form a new school from the beginning of 2012.
This campus decision was in line with the proposal previously delivered to students and staff members. The model with one main campus is best for supporting the mission of Aalto University as a multidisciplinary and creative university. Centralizing operations will create the prerequisites for a high-quality, inspiring and versatile learning environment where students truly have the opportunity to make choices. The centralized campus supports boundary-breaking research and artistic activities by enabling versatile and active forms of interaction.
According to the decision of the board, the Aalto University campus will be built gradually in an economically and ecologically sustainable manner. The development of one main campus will begin by gradually concentrating all bachelor-level education to Otaniemi from 2013 onwards. The focus of constructing new buildings will be in Otaniemi where the joint use of teaching and research facilities can be developed in a creative and cost-effective way. However, Aalto University will not give up any of its own facilities that serve its interests well. The School of Economics will continue its operations in the current facilities in Töölö, Helsinki. Only the bachelor-level education will be transferred. Due to their central location in the city centre, these facilities can also be developed for the needs of the other schools.
Upon a decision made by the Aalto University Board today, the School of Art and Design and the Department of Architecture will form a new school as of January 1, 2012. According to the preliminary plan, the activities of the current School of Art and Design will move to Otaniemi once the new facilities have been built, approximately in 2015.This will also significantly strengthen the preconditions for the success of the new school. Aalto University will continue its operations also at other locations in Finland and abroad in the scale necessary for strategic partnerships and cooperation.
“I am convinced that transferring our operations to one main campus is the best option for steering Aalto University towards world class. I am glad that the thorough preparatory work has made both members of the Aalto community and stakeholders create ideas and ponder on our common future. The work for building a campus that will enable a vibrant and new operating culture can now truly begin,” says Aalto University President Tuula Teeri.
The decision of the board was preceded by a vast discussion and preparation phase both within the university and with stakeholder groups that lasted approximately one year. In January 2011, President Tuula Teeri presented the first campus vision to the staff and students who had both participated in the preparatory work that the vision was based on. After this, the discussions continued in various forums including five thematic working groups. The members of these groups represented the staff and students of all the schools of Aalto University. The final reports of the groups emphasized the opportunities that creative space planning provides for the meeting, interaction and visibility of different fields and groups.
While the decision was being prepared, the management of Aalto University met with experts, as well as with the management of the City of Espoo and the City of Helsinki, and discussed several different campus alternatives and their prerequisites and possibilities. The discussions will continue with both cities based on the campus decision that has now been made.
‘Also the Aalto University Student Union is happy with this decision. It is clear that not all of our current students are pleased about their teaching moving to Otaniemi, but in the long term, having a centralized campus gives us undisputed benefits and possibilities’ says President of the Board of Aalto University Student Union Saara Hyrkkö.
The values and mission of Aalto University will steer the planning and construction of the new main campus. The aim is to create a vibrant and interactive research and studying environment where work, studying, recreational activities and everyday life will naturally be connected to each other. Attaining the goals of sustainable development will require new energy and transport solutions. Aalto aims to diversify the university services, recreational opportunities and cultural services.