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Arcada 2018 – Something Old, Something New

For Arcada, 2018 was in many ways a year of radical change. A new rector in May, a new organisation in August, a new sports hall and a successful fundraising campaign were some of the important events that will carry the school into the future. All this took place at the same time that Arcada ended the year with a record number of 500 new alumni. The year began with two big projects. The fundraising campaign Tomorrow’s Heroes – Morgondagens hjältar – was launched with the goal to raise 5 million euro by the end of the year. By December 31 of 2018 the total count came to more than 6.23 million euro. The other big project was launched by the owner, the Arcada Foundation. On January 17 the first stone was laid in the construction of the new sports hall that will give a definite boost to our sports instructor programme and to its profile.

Also on January 17, Henrik Wolff, Arcada’s first and up to then its only rector, accepted his professorship for his valuable contributions to the field of higher education. Before the summer break, many gathered to honour Henrik, taking part in a symposium that clearly showed what an extensive network he has managed to create for Arcada during his years as rector.

In May he handed over to his successor, Mona Forsskåhl. The transition had been well prepared and the new rector had been given ample opportunity to become acquainted with the organisation and to take part in the traditions and routines of both workday life and festivities at Arcada. The new rector was inaugurated at the opening of the academic year in September.

The new term began with five departments instead of the previous four. Two new vice rectors had also been appointed and began work in August: Dr Carl-Johan Rosenbröijer in charge of degree education and Dr Henrika Franck in charge of research, development and innovation.

During the autumn Arcada’s leadership met with the Ministry of Education and Culture. The negotiations were conducted in a spirit of understanding and the outcome positive. Arcada has continued to do well in within the frame of the ministry’s funding indicators, even though in the relative UAS comparison Arcada dropped from first to third place.

The statutory quality audit conducted by The Finnish Education Evaluation Centre (FINEEC) in 2017 was approved in 2018. The assessment team visited Arcada in March and presented its report at a joint seminar. The report supplied Arcada with valuable tools for its continued quality work. The results of the audit are valid for six years.

Arcada’s operating accounts showed a deficit of -553000 euro for 2018, despite slightly increased core funding, extra government funding and increased sales, bringing the turnover to almost 17.5 million euro. This can partly be explained by the change of rectors and the changes in the organisation, but there needs to be increased efficiency and focus in the long term. One of the goals in Arcada’s current strategy document emphasises depth in focus and breadth in collaboration, a statement that continues to carry weight. The powerful decline of the financial markets at the end of the year led to a further drop in the deficit, down to -857000 euro as investments from the beginning of 2018 have to be continuously declared at market value. However, our successful fundraising campaign together with the governments counter financing gives us confidence in the future. This constitutes a sizeable sum to be added to Arcada’s basic capital, and as we can use the returns from our basic capital in the coming years, we will have a significant addition to our funds.

Dear Friend of Arcada

I was appointed Rector at Arcada in 2017 and took on my new role in May of 2018. Since my appointment and since I took office, hardly a day has gone by that I haven’t felt truly happy and proud of our Arcada. Arcada’s committed staff, our active and motivated students, our positive and dedicated trustees and partners all make up a unique resource. This shared belief in Arcada is something I want to make the most of and work for with my full capacity. My sincere thanks for the warm welcome that I have been accorded; I look forward to a good and rewarding co-operation with all parties for many years to come.


Helsinki in April 2019
Mona Forsskåhl, PhD
Professor, Rector