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Helsingin aikuisopisto > Institute > Institute of Adult Education in Helsinki

Institute of Adult Education in Helsinki is one of the largest privately-owned institutes of its kind in Finland. The Institute provides around 42 000 hours of liberal adult education instruction and acculturation education annually. There were around 1 100 study groups in total. Around 11 000 students in the Institute of Adult Education and around 1 000 labour market training students take part in courses annually. In addition the Institute administers a school of basic education for adult immigrants, which in 2016 had around 200 students. In 2016 the turnover of the Institute was approximately 6 million euros. The Institute employs around 330 people annually. The teaching takes place at the Institute premises in Töölöntulli, and the basic education premises in Arkadiankatu. In addition to this the Institute has its own physical education premises in Annankatu, Helsinki city centre. (Institute in brief)

The purpose of the Institute of Adult Education in Helsinki is to act as a goal-directed study society for adults who wish to advance their lifelong, continuous learning and internal growth.

The institute is collectively owned by an association called Toimihenkilöjärjestöjen Opintoliito ry. (trade registry number 0203131-0). The Institute has a ten-member board, the chairperson of which is Tanu Heikkinen, who is a director at Tehy ry., the Union of Health and Social Care Professionals. The Director of the Institute of Adult Education in Helsinki is Kari Karvonen. The Vice Director is Jyrki Sipilä, who is also director of basic education. Training Director for Labour Market Training is Sirpa Rönkkö. Institute of Adult Education in Helsinki is a member of KOL (Finnish Association of Adult Education Centres) and the Employers Association of Privately Owned Educational Institutions.

The Institute receives statutory financial assistance from the state. The other key sources of income are income from labour market training and student fees.

The Institute has a dense network of international contacts. It has cooperated with European educational and cultural bodies since the 1990s. Since 2001 we have participated either directly or indirectly (via CIMO, the Finnish Centre for International mobility) in many projects funded by the European Commission. In recent years the Institute has successfully provided training for immigrants within the framework of the government’s employment policy, as well as through ample provision of Finnish for Foreigners courses. For these reasons the Institute has every right to call itself Finland’s most international adult education centre. Explore the Institute’s international activities in depth.

Institute of Adult Education in Helsinki has a long and honorable history. It was founded in 1961 by TVK, an organisation promoting professional interests. The Institute has operated out of the building where it is now in Töölöntullinkatu, since its construction in 1967. The Institute is one of the entities behind the construction of the building. From 1962 to 1965 the name of the institute was Virkailijain kansalaisopisto (An Institute of Adult Education for Civil Servants). Then the common question the Institute office was often asked was if the Institute was open to others besides civil servants. Now the Institute is owned by the The Finnish Confederation of Salaried Employees STTK trade union members, who together form Toimihenkilöjärjestöjen opintoliitto ry (The Association of Trade Union Officials). In 1966 the name of the Institute was changed to The Institute of Adult Education in Helsinki. The common question after this second name-change was if the Institute was open to non-Helsinki residents. The answer to both questions is yes. The institute was and is open to all.

In 2007 the Institute of Adult Education in Helsinki was awarded, for the first time for an adult education in the metropolitan Helsinki area, The Quality Prize for Adult Education Centres by the Ministry of Education and Culture.

The Institute has declared itself A Discrimination-Free Zone, in line with The Ministry of the Interior campaign.

The Institute has also signed the national corporate responsibility network FIBS ry:s Diversity Commitment.

The Institute’s celebratory book Elämää varten (For Life) published in 2011 can be viewed here in pdf. format.