Board 14 December 2011

Sibelius Academy mission

Sibelius Academy fosters and renews musical culture through high standards of instruction, artistic activity, research, and related learning.

Sibelius Academy vision for 2016

Sibelius Academy is an international, open, and vibrant powerhouse of music, a global leader in its focus areas.

Changes in the operating environment

The operating term will start with the merger of three arts universities resulting into the University of the Arts Helsinki. The development of the University of the Arts Helsinki will continue in the strategy period.

World economy, Finnish economy, and the government platform provide economic challenges to universities. For Sibelius Academy, the finances will also tighten due to the transfer to Helsinki Music Centre.

Globalisation will stiffen competition for the best teacher candidates, student applicants, and jobs. It will also add to the students' opportunities for learning and finding jobs.

More and more is expected of culture and art as an influence in society, and there are more and more ways that culture and art can influence society. Networking will become increasingly important.

The supply of music will grow, and musical life will become more varied.

Higher competency requirements will be placed on music professionals. They will be expected to present top specialist proficiency while being with many versatile skills and talents.

Technology will allow for new methods of production, relay, cooperation, and study.

The intake of students for culture and creative industries at universities of applied sciences will decrease, which will impact the division of duties in music higher education.

The expectations for Helsinki Music Centre, various cooperation models, and publicity require that Sibelius Academy apply a more flexible operating culture.

Main strategic goals of Sibelius Academy

Sibelius Academy will be developed as a music academy profiling itself in a global environment, using its resources efficiently to strengthen a high quality music culture.

1.Sibelius Academy will be the powerhouse of the Finnish music domain and an internationally esteemed centre of excellence.

We will provide an inspiring and internationally attractive learning environment and the preconditions for a successful career in music.

  • We will engage in active and persistent cooperation with Finnish and international partners to enhance the quality of functions at Sibelius Academy and to increase its attractiveness.
  • We will adopt a more extensive student feedback system. We will develop the functionality of the programme-based educational structure. We will write curricula that are based on competencies.
  • We will analyse our societal significance and add to our dialogue with the industries.
  • The additional resources that are allocated to the University of the Arts Helsinki will be directed to the chosen focus areas. A sufficient amount of individual instruction will be secured.

Strategic initiative

  • An evaluation of the Sibelius Academy functions and recognition of strengths

Objective: The goal of the initiative is to define the strengths and focus areas of development that will provide the best circumstances for the strategic management and success of Sibelius Academy. The initiative will include a self-evaluation and a subsequent international evaluation.

Responsibility: Rector

Spring 2012: Define the goals for the evaluation of the core activities; select the international evaluator; and prepare for the evaluation with the selected operator.
Autumn 2012: Self-evaluation to lay the foundations for the international evaluation
Late autumn 2012–early spring 2013: Document the self-evaluation and translate the documents to English
Spring–summer 2013: International evaluation of the core activities; publication of the evaluation report
Autumn 2013: Based on the evaluation, discuss strategic choices in the university community.
December 2013: Conclusions drawn from the process and definition of strategic policies

Indicators: The focus areas of development and the strengths of the core activities as a whole will be determined by 31 December 2013.

2. Sibelius Academy will have good financial preconditions

We will balance the Sibelius Academy finances to make it possible to actualize the vision and strategy.

  • We will secure our finances and operations through strategic financial planning that is effective and persistent.
  • We will secure funding from the Ministry of Education and Culture by investing in determining the focus areas and by reaching the performance targets. We will actively impact the funding criteria applied to arts universities.
  • We will develop our businesses' operations, business skills, and cost awareness.

Strategic initiative

  • Enhancement of fund-raising, marketing, external communications, and alumni activities

Description: Through marketing and external communications, the external visibility of the university and the recruitment of teachers and students will be enhanced. This will also support fund-raising and help to increase the yield in business operations to give the university more financial leeway. Through alumni activities, we will grow our interest group networks, thus improving the compatibility between our core activities and professional life and creating a more extensive contact surface with various sectors of society.

Responsibility: Rector

Schedule and indicators: 1) In 2013–2014, the net yield from fund-raising will be EUR 200,000, and our financial performance will increase by 50%. 2) By the end of 2014, the number of international applicants to the bachelor- and master-level studies will have grown by 20% (30 people). 3) The number of international candidates for the teachers' posts will have increased substantially  by the end of 2014. 4a) Feedback from alumni; 4b) The number of events directed to the alumni will have increased.

3. Sibelius Academy will function fluently and effectively

As a result of good planning, management, and cooperation, the facilities, competencies, and time resources are utilized effectively and profitably.

  • We will boost study guidance, monitoring of studies, and tutoring.
  • We will support cooperation between departments and faculties in the planning, implementation, and development of education.

Strategic initiative

  • Promotion of the efficiency of study and the use of facilities as well as the enhancement of the intensity of learning through a new academic year model and a better integration of the planning process for the facilities and training


  1. Creation and adoption of a new academic year model that will allow for 1) a more even division of the students' and teachers' workload over the year; 2) better working spaces for teachers and students; and 3) better practice facilities and more time for independent work for students.
  2. Development and coordination of schedules, facilities usage, and space reservation practices to reduce problems caused by overlap in instruction; enhancement of the use of the facilities; and better fulfilment of the teachers' and students' needs.  We will reduce absences and undersized groups that are caused by overlap in instruction.
  3. In the current economic conditions, we will create an operating model that will allow for a more effective use of the Helsinki Music Centre concert halls in a manner that supports the objectives of education and artistic activities. The objective is to improve the preconditions of artistic work and to provide students with more interesting performance and learning opportunities.

Responsibility: First Vice-Rector

Schedule: The new practices will be part of the university's permanent functions by 31 December 2013.

Indicators: 1) In the underutilisation period from May to August, the utilisation rate for the facilities will grow; 2) the average accumulation rate for students' ECTS credits will grow by 30%; 3) the feedback on the space reservation processes will develop favourably.

4. Sibelius Academy is a professional, vibrant, and thriving workplace community

Human capital is our key resource, and we will enhance this resource continually. We appreciate individual and communal skills and knowledge, openness, and consistency.

  • We will make sure that the contribution of the teaching and research staff is sufficiently focused on artistic work and research.
  • We will develop management systematically through evaluation and education.
  • We will implement the personnel policy approved by the board and the model of interaction developed in the departmental reform project.
  • We will develop the internal communication methods and tools.

Strategic initiative

  • Development of management and the internal communications and interaction

Description: The project includes the following actions: development of management through evaluation and education, increasing openness in decision-making, implementation of the model of interaction developed in the departmental reform project, and development of the internal communication methods and tools.

Responsibility: Rector

Schedule: 2012–1216

Indicators: Annual student questionnaire, teacher questionnaire, and questionnaire on wellbeing at work; biannual survey of internal communications.

5. Implementation of strategy

The rector will agree with the vice-rectors, deans, and the administrative director on the goals related to the implementation of the strategy and will report to the board on the implementation of the strategic initiatives at every meeting. The strategic process is described in the Sibelius Academy quality manual.