University of Helsinki

The Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies is a home base for international researcher encounters and a pioneer in the humanities and social sciences in Finland


The Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies at the University of Helsinki celebrates its 20th anniversary on 15 June, with star philosopher Martha Nussbaum as the anniversary speaker.

Photo: Hanna Sario
Photo: Hanna Sario

According to Tuomas Forsberg, Director of the Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies, the Collegium is a necessary place for networking for international scholars. The international elements of the Collegium are seen and heard, and there are scholars from all over the world at the institution.

“We are celebrating not only 20 years of operations, but also interdisciplinary interaction, multidisciplinary activity and curious minds that propel researchers from around the world towards new insights,” Forsberg notes.

A melting pot of academic disciplines

Researchers need an intellectually stimulating environment. In addition to the added value gained through parallel narrow scholarly perspectives on a common topic, interdisciplinarity also means a deeper theoretical integration within the humanities and the social sciences.

“This is important, as solving today’s problems often requires broader interdisciplinary understanding of the human condition and its historical development. Internationality should not be equated with the number of globally recognised international scholars. Rather, it must be perceived as the daily interaction of researchers from a range of geographical backgrounds.”

More than half of the Collegium’s researchers come from abroad. They have succeeded in obtaining external funding from the most competitive and esteemed sources during or soon after their term at the Collegium, and they have also found success later on in their research careers.

“There are currently almost 70 professors in Finland who have at some point in their careers been fellows at the Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies,” Forsberg says.

“That’s a significant number for a small country, especially considering the relatively small size of the Collegium. It means that the Collegium has had an impact on the development of academic research in the humanities and social sciences also outside the University of Helsinki, which was one of the institution’s original goals.”

The Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies has given the initial impetus for many internationally recognised research trends, including memory research, digital humanities, medical humanities, and science and technology studies.

Philosopher Martha Nussbaum as the anniversary speaker

The Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies has engaged Professor Martha Nussbaum, one of the world’s best-known philosophers, to give the keynote address at the anniversary celebration on 15 June. Professor Nussbaum works at the University of Chicago, and she is an honorary fellow of the Collegium. The title of her keynote address in Helsinki is ‘Music and the Costs of War: Britten's WAR REQUIEM, Bodies, and Reconciliation’. For years, Nussbaum has collaborated with Finnish philosophers.

The anniversary celebration will be opened by Director Tuomas Forsberg of the Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies; Vice-Rector Hanna Snellman of the University of Helsinki; Professor Nadia Al-Bagdadi, Director of the Institute for Advanced Study at the Central European University; and Sean Griffin and Kinga Polynczuk-Alenius, Fellows at the Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies.

The 20th anniversary of the Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies will be celebrated on 15 June at 14.15–17.30 in the University’s Great Hall (Unioninkatu 34).

You can also follow the celebration via a live stream through a link that will be added before the event to this website:

Further information:

Kaisa Kaakinen, Research Coordinator, +358 2941 22493,

Cosmopolitan Knowledge? Anniversary conference of the Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies 

On 16 and 17 June, the anniversary programme of the Collegium continues in a conference with current and former fellows of the Collegium and guest speakers in attendance. The conference focuses on the tensions between the international and local aspects of scholarship.

A seminar with Martha Nussbaum

On 16 and 17 June, Martha Nussbaum will hold a seminar entitled ‘Animality – A Philosophical Workshop with Professor Martha C. Nussbaum’ at the Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies.




Photo: Hanna Sario
Photo: Hanna Sario

About University of Helsinki

University of Helsinki
University of Helsinki
P.O. Box 4 (Yliopistonkatu 3)
00014 University of Helsinki, Finland

The University of Helsinki is one of the world’s leading multidisciplinary research universities, renowned for its high-quality teaching, research and innovation. It is proud to be constantly ranked among the top one hundred best universities in the world.

The university has an enrollment of over 35 000 students and it offers a wide range of Master’s programmes taught in English. Established in 1640, the University of Helsinki is the oldest university in Finland.

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