Hanken School of Economics

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Hanken School of Economics
Svenska handelshögskolan
Hanken logo
RectorKaren Spens
Hanken Campus in Helsinki.
Hanken Campus in Vasa

The Hanken School of Economics (Swedish: Svenska handelshögskolan, also known as Hanken) is a business school located in Helsinki and Vaasa. Hanken was established as a community college in 1909 and originally offered a two-year vocational education.

Hanken programmes include master's, doctoral, and MBA programmes in English, as well as bachelor's and master's programmes in Swedish. Hanken has two locations, one in Helsinki and one in Vaasa.[2]


Hanken was founded in 1909 as a private community college under the name of Högre Svenska Handelsläroverket. Together with Stockholm School of Economics, Hanken is the oldest business school in northern Europe, with the former opening a month after Hanken.

In 1927, the school was given its current name, Svenska Handelshögskolan. A year later, the school introduced a bachelor's degree in economics, with professorships being introduced in 1934. The first doctoral dissertation took place in 1944.

Hanken's second location in Vaasa was established in 1980 to develop business education in the region - a region that houses a large proportion of the Swedish-speaking population in Finland.

Hanken was the first business school in Finland to introduce a compulsory stay abroad for its bachelor's students.[3]

Organization and administration[edit]


All universities in Finland, Hanken among them, are primarily regulated by the Universities Act (558/2009) and the Universities Decree (770/2009). The principal governance bodies of Hanken are the University Council, the Board, the Rector, and Deans.

The University Council appoints the external members of the Board, the auditors for the School, and the Academic Council. It approves the financial statement and grants the Board and the rector a discharge from liability.

The Board is the highest decision-making body of the School and is always chaired by an external person - at present Jannica Fagerholm is chair of the Board. The Board decides on most issues of a strategic nature, such as the activity and economic plan as well as the budget. The Board is responsible for the economy of the School, the allocation of its funds, and appointing the Rector.

The current Rector is Professor Karen Spens who was appointed for a five-year period commencing 1 August 2015. The Rector exercises general authority as stated in the Universities Act, i.e. she heads the school, she is responsible for preparing and carrying out the decisions of the Board, and takes decisions on all matters that are not expressly the business of some other body.

Other decision-making bodies are the Academic Council and the Examination Board.

The student body is represented in each decision-making body by at least one student.[4]


Hanken's research and teaching is organized into four departments and one centre for Languages and Business Communication. Students of the subjects are represented in each Department Council by student-elected student representatives.[5]

  • Accounting and Commercial Law
  • Finance and Economics
  • Management and Organisation
  • Marketing
  • Centre for Languages and Business Communication


Currently, Hanken has master's degree programmes in both Swedish and English, while all bachelor's degree programmes are in Swedish. Additionally there are PhD and MBA programmes in English.

The bachelor's degree programmes are three year courses that include a minimum 3-month stay abroad. Those who complete a bachelor's degree at Hanken have the automatic right to continue with master's studies.

The MSc in Economics and Business Administration programme is a two-year programme with 120 ECTS. Students studying in English choose between six different degree programmes, while students studying in Swedish have a choice of seven majors. The English degree programmes are Business and Management, Corporate Governance, Economics, Finance and Accounting, General Management, and Intellectual Property Law. In some of the programmes, students can choose between majors, e.g. International Strategy and Sustainability, Marketing, or Humanitarian Logistics in the Business and Management programme.

The Hanken PhD Programme corresponds to four years of full-time studies, during which students produce a doctoral thesis and complete 60 ECTS of coursework. The courses consist of 44 credits in the major and related subjects, and 16 credits in general methodology, philosophy of science, or other similar courses of a methodological nature.[6]

The Hanken MBA is an accredited executive MBA programme.[7] There are different streams within the programme; Finance, International Management, and Service and Relationship Marketing. The programme was awarded the AMBA accreditation in 2008.[8] Hanken offers tailor-made courses to companies within the framework of Hanken & SSE Executive Education. Hanken & SSE Executive Education was founded in 2005 by Hanken and IFL at Stockholm School of Economics.[9]

Student exchange[edit]

Hanken has approximately 120 partner universities for student exchange. Every year some 250 students from Hanken spend one semester or a full academic year abroad. Hanken also receives approximately 150 exchange students yearly.[10]


Hanken researchers are engaged in pure, applied, as well as commissioned research. Research at the university is carried out at the academic departments and research centres and researchers at Hanken are often involved in cross-disciplinary project groups with both national and international academic colleagues. According to data by the Academy of Finland, Hanken's research has an index value of 1.4 compared to the world average of 1.[11] U-Multirank ranks Hanken as fifth in the world in research and research linkages.

Hanken's areas of strength are:

  • Finance
  • Economics
  • Management and Organisation
  • Marketing

Research and knowledge centres[edit]

The research and competence centres at Hanken coordinate education, promote research, and offer a wide range of services in information and executive education.[12]

  • CERS – Centre for Relationship Marketing and Service Management
  • CCR – Centre for Corporate Responsibility
  • CIEL – Centre of International Economic Law
  • EPCE – Erling-Persson Centre for Entrepreneurship
  • HCCG – Hanken Centre for Corporate Governance
  • GODESS – The Research and Development Institute on Gender, Organisation, Diversity, Equality and Social Sustainability in Transnational Times
  • HECER – Helsinki Centre of Economic Research
  • HUMLOG Institute – The Humanitarian Logistics and Supply Chain Research Institute
  • IPR – University Centre
  • WCEFIR – Wallenberg Center for Financial Research

Notable alumni[edit]

Hanken has over 13,700 alumni in 70 countries.[13]

Rankings & Accreditations[edit]

Hanken School of Economics was ranked as the 67th best Masters in Management programme in 2015 and 69th in 2016 by the Financial Times. Hanken is also ranked fifth for its research and research linkages by U-Multirank, a feasibility study supported by the European Commission. Moreover, Hanken is a Principles for Responsible Management Education (PRME) Champion, meaning the school contributes to responsible management education in the context of the United Nations sustainable development agenda.[14]


EQUIS (European Quality Improvement System) is an international programme for the assessment of European education in economic and business sciences. Hanken was awarded the EQUIS accreditation in 2000. The accreditation was renewed in 2017.[15] The accreditation is awarded to schools that meet the highest requirements of quality in teaching, research, internationalisation and co-operation with the business community.


Hanken was awarded the AMBA accreditation in 2008. The accreditation demonstrates that Hanken MBA holds the highest international standard.


Hanken was awarded AACSB accreditation in November 2015. Hence, Hanken obtained the Triple accreditation by being accredited by all EQUIS, AMBA and AACSB.[16]

Student union[edit]

The Student Union of Hanken School of Economics (SHS) was founded in 1909 under the name of Kamratföreningen Niord. Today the student union has some 2300 members and is the only student union in Finland to represent solely business students. The student union organizes events and is responsible for student representation in the School's decision-making body. In accordance to law, all students at Hanken are automatically members of the student union.[17]


  1. ^ "Hanken School of Economics". Archived from the original on 18 October 2014. Retrieved 15 November 2014.
  2. ^ "About Hanken". Hanken School of Economics. Retrieved 2017-02-06.
  3. ^ Fellman, Susanna; Forsén, Annette (2009). Hundra år av utbildning och forskning: Svenska handelshögskolan 1909–2009. The authors and Svenska handelshögskolan. pp. 30, 36, 38, 213. ISBN 978-952-232-042-1.
  4. ^ "Decision-making and Advisory Bodies". Hanken School of Economics. Retrieved 2017-02-06.
  5. ^ "Departments and subjects". Hanken School of Economics. Retrieved 2017-02-06.
  6. ^ "Studies". Hanken School of Economics. Retrieved 2017-02-06.
  7. ^ "Business school detail - Association of MBAs". Retrieved 31 May 2015.
  8. ^ Hanken MBA Archived 2011-10-26 at the Wayback Machine
  9. ^ "Hanken & SSE Executive Education". Hanken & SSE Executive Education. Retrieved 31 May 2015.
  10. ^ "International Opportunities". Hanken School of Economics. Retrieved 2017-02-06.
  11. ^ "Publications". Hanken School of Economics. Retrieved 2017-02-06.
  12. ^ "Competence centres bring research and practice together". Hanken School of Economics. Archived from the original on 2017-02-07. Retrieved 2017-02-06.
  13. ^ "Alumni". Hanken School of Economics. Retrieved 2017-02-06.
  14. ^ Ireland, Web design by webmakers, Unit 38, Navan Enterprise Centre, Trim Rd., Navan, Co. Meath. "PRME - Principles for Responsible Management Education". www.unprme.org. Retrieved 2017-02-06.
  15. ^ "Hanken renews EQUIS accreditation". Hanken School of Economics. Retrieved 2019-04-16.
  16. ^ "Hanken confirms its position as international top business school". Hanken School of Economics. Retrieved 2017-02-06.
  17. ^ "About SHS | SHS". www.shs.fi. Retrieved 2017-02-06.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 60°10′15″N 024°55′27″E / 60.17083°N 24.92417°E / 60.17083; 24.92417