A! broke? or “broke”

Recently planned layoffs have raised a question of Aalto’s financial state. Aalto has done about 30M€ profit each year since founding, but this year will be first year with losses worth 2M€.


Aalto University is going through organizational change that has been reported widely in Finnish media. The backround in these layoffs is that Aalto needs savings and efficient hr structure. The need for savings, (even though Aalto is not exactly broke with 900M€ investment capita and some 200M€ in coffer from previous years surpluses), comes from predicted drop in goverment funding. The reason for drop in goverment funding is the funding model that takes into account the number of graduates as average of three years. 2010 was record breaking year in graduates but during 2014 the record year is left out of the count and thus the funding decreases nearly with 10M€. Therefore Aalto is planning annual savings in HR costs by 8.5M€ and nullifying the effect of decrease in goverment funding.

Aalto could affort to keep everyone in, but would it be smart? When Aalto first was found, all three universities just fused their HR and support organizations and hired some 30 % more people on top of that. Now that the biggest tidal waves (pun intended) has settled, leaner organization is possible. Hey, it’s more money to hire PhD students!

2010 2011 2012 2013
Goverment Funding 245 272 271 275
Total Income 400 423 421 418
Expenses 374 395 424 420
Operational Surplus 26 28 -4 -2
Investments 2 -14 33 36
All 28 14 29 34

Sampsa Laakso,

Chair of the Board, 2014

Artwork by Maria Jaakkola

*all numbers are more or less inexact and should be treated critically

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