Annual Report 2023

President and CEO's review 2023: year of cooperation and international breakthroughs

Riitta Konkola, President CEO. Sitting and smiling.

2023 was a successful year for Metropolia. Following our strategy, we continued to solve social challenges and build a sustainable future with our partners. We cooperated successfully in terms of teaching, RDI, business and international operations. Metropolia enjoyed a good year also financially despite the generally weak economic situation.

The year was special also in that we celebrated our 15th anniversary. During these years, we have grown to be Finland's largest university of applied sciences and a major ecosystem player. We also had cause for celebration in March, when Metropolia passed the Finnish Education Evaluation Centre's (FINEEC) international audit with good marks.

We are committed to being a bold reformer of expertise and an active builder of sustainable future also in the years to come. We completed a strategic update process in 2023, enabling the entire education community to participate in it. The updated strategy is based on the same themes as what we have in our current strategy and on all the good work we have done. With the update, we set ourselves even more ambitious strategic goals.

International connections opened up now opportunities for cooperation and learning

One of the high points of 2023 was when the U!REKA SHIFT alliance was successful in a tough international application and was chosen to be included in the European Universities initiative of the Erasmus+ programme. Metropolia is the first Finnish higher education institution to act as the coordinator of an alliance selected for the European Universities initiative. Working in the alliance requires close European cooperation, something in which we will invest more in the coming years. In addition to speeding up collaboration, the initiative develops high-quality education, research and innovation and increases mobility.

Metropolia education is becoming more and more international. In addition to the funding for the U!REKA SHIFT alliance, we took determined steps to increase courses taught in English and started new English-language Master’s programmes in construction and health care. 19 out of Metropolia's 80 degree programmes are taught in English.

Metropolia has been developing comprehensive services for many years to help immigrants land jobs and to become better integrated into Finnish society by means of, for example, career and educational counselling, employment services and development of competences for higher education study. In late 2023, the Ministry of Education and Culture granted Metropolia 500,000 euros of funding to simplify the process for nurses with qualifications from outside EU and EEA countries to meet the Finnish qualifications and complement their education in Finland. Being able to speak Finnish is very important in the Finnish labour market. This is why Metropolia's open UAS courses of Finnish as a second language at various levels were free for everyone in 2023.

Number of Metropolia graduates up

The number of Metropolia graduates has grown in the last year. In 2023, a total of 2,627 Bachelor's degrees were completed at Metropolia, which was 90 more than a year earlier. The greatest growth (103 degrees) was in the health care and social services sector, returning to the 2021 level after the lower level of 2022. As for Master's degrees, a total of 537 were completed, which was 29 more than in the previous year.

The graduating students were satisfied with the education they had received at Metropolia, with the number of those satisfied rising. In the UAS Graduand Feedback Questionnaire (AVOP), satisfied respondents (those who gave a score of 6–7 on a scale of 1–7) represented 52.8% of respondents, an improvement of 1 percentage point over the previous year.

Metropolia was once again the most popular UAS in the spring joint application process. In the joint application in spring 2023, Metropolia was the most popular university of applied sciences in Finland, with 11,284 applicants putting Metropolia as their first choice, and attractiveness was at 3.3 (2.9 in 2022). The reason for increased attractiveness can be attributed to the greater interest in English-language degree programmes.

Solutions to global challenges

Metropolia's research, development and innovation (RDI) activities were carried out at five phenomenon-based innovation hubs. The innovation hubs solve global challenges by RDI means. The solutions are created with various actors by using bold ideas, experimenting together and learning.

The Myllypuro campus, completed in 2020, was designed in a way that it could be used as a construction sector learning environment and a development platform for building technology solutions. As proof of long-term development of the construction industry, Myllypuro campus received the Gold Level Smart Building certificate as the first higher education building in Finland. The campus received acclaim for its technical implementation and the use and visualisation of information in teaching and in collaboration with partners.

The future competence needs of the building industry have been addressed in a project that has created an information and competence hub of the building industry, with funding from the innovation fund of the City of Helsinki. Our partners are Aalto University and Stadin AO, Helsinki Vocational College and Adult Institute. The project makes the building industry better known, increases its social attraction, improves competition among building companies and helps generate innovation.

The Cultural Wellbeing Research & Education Centre (CuWeRe) began operations in June. CuWeRe strives to reform cultural wellbeing through research and related education.

In autumn 2023, Metropolia began important research and training cooperation with the National Defence University. Their cooperation includes themes such as social wellbeing and preparedness.

Major business growth

During the year, business operations in Finland increased by 10 per cent, and commercial RDI operations by 104 per cent year on year. Metropolia is considered more and more attractive also by international students and partners. In 2023, we managed to increase the number of students paying tuition fees well above our expectations. We had some 120 more new students paying tuition fees than a year ago, and education export turnover increased by 78 per cent from 2022. In addition, the number of applications from outside the EU or EEA doubled compared to the previous year.

Financial statements 2023

  • Turnover totalled EUR 121.8 million, a growth of 9.6% on the previous year.
  • Turnover from business activities was EUR 6.1 million, up by 8.4% on the year before.
  • Operating expenses amounted to EUR 120.5 million, an increase of 10.5% on the previous year.
  • Personnel expenses totalled EUR 76.6 million, representing 62.9% of turnover.
  • Depreciation amounted to EUR 7.3 million, a decrease of 6.6% from the previous year.
  • The adjusted result for the financial year was a profit of EUR 4.2 million, an increase of EUR 4.0 million from the previous year. Thanks to the investment activity, the result for the financial year increased significantly from the previous year. The adjusted result accounts for the front-weighted income paid in 2022 by the Ministry of Education and Culture.

Overall, Metropolia’s financial situation was good at the end of 2023. Solvency remained good, and the equity ratio was 74.0% (74.4% in the previous year).

Events after the close of the period

During their Annual Meeting that started on 15 January 2024 in Davos, the World Economic Forum gave Metropolia an important recognition, Skills-First Lighthouse, of which the World Economic Forum chose a total of 13. The recognition was awarded for MINNO, Metropolia's innovation project concept.

Metropolia's development is guided centrally by Metropolia's strategy, updated for the 2025 to 2028 period and containing a vision until 2035. Finland needs new expertise, experts, sustainable growth and hope. Metropolia's updated strategic themes – reformer of lifelong learning, phenomenon-based finder of solutions, builder of sustainable development and growth, digital champion and open and social Metropolia – will be the drivers of future development.

The strategy includes a major growth target in the number of degree students by 2035, and the underlying goal is to educate students to meet the needs of the capital region in particular.

The aim of research, development and innovation activities is to increase the amount of external income funding considerably. To achieve this, Metropolia will particularly strengthen its international and commercial RDI activities.

Business activities, students paying tuition fees and other international sales will continue to increase in importance. Fee-based business activities will expand Metropolia's income basis and secure Metropolia's financial performance.

Turnover in 2024 is expected to grow compared to the 2023 financial year. The basic funding provided by the Ministry of Education and Culture, which is determined based on the actual financial results for the previous three years, is estimated to grow compared to the 2023 financial year. The Board expects the result for the financial year to be positive in accordance with the target.

We will continue our work in line with our strategy, aiming for even greater impact for the benefit of society, putting people first. I would like to extend my warmest thanks to our staff, students and stakeholders for 2023.

Riitta Konkola
President and CEO

The year 2023 in numbers

Turnover totalled EUR 121.8 million, up by 9.6 % on the year before. At the end of the year were 1054 permanent staff. Metropolia concentrates its operations on four campuses: Arabia and Myllypuro Campuses in Helsinki, Karamalmi Campus in Espoo and Myyrmäki Campus in Vantaa.

In year 2023 were 80 degree programs in the fields of Business, Culture, Health Care and Social Services, and Technology. The 2 627 students completed a UAS Bachelor's degree and 537 students completed a UAS Master's degree. In year 2023 were 1.5 million visits on website (2022: 1.0 million visits) and 53 000 followers on Linkedin (2022: 47 200 followers). Number of publications were 1058 (2022: 835).

Personnel 2023

At the end of the year were 1054 permanent staff (2022: 1011 permanent staff). The average age of our staff has slightly decreased in recent years, and at the end of 2023 the average age of our entire staff was 48.2 years.

For our entire staff, the ratio is 62 % women and 38 % men. Our HR system also allows one to report their gender as “other”, but this share is so small for the moment that it is not visible on the graph. 62 % of our supervisors were women.

In 2023, the well-being of staff has been monitored and promoted in various ways. The status of staff well-being is monitored annually with the People Power employee survey. The overall index of the survey paints a general picture of staff views on management, commitment, performance and dedication. Metropolia's overall index was 65.6 (2022: 65.6).


Number of students completing Bachelor´s and Master´s degrees and specialisation studies, attending and absent.

At the end of the year number of students were 17,473 students. (2022: 17,188 students).

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Applicants to Metropolia

Applicants to Metropolia were 15,098 (2022: 14,781) Student intake were 4228 (2022: 4250). Applicants per study place were 3,6 (2022: 3,48).

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Graduates, Bachelor's Degrees

The 2,627 students completed a UAS Bachelor's degree (2022: 2,537).

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Graduates, Master's Degrees

The 537 students completed a UAS Master's degree. (2022: 508)

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International student exchange

Number of international student exchange 601 (2022: 579 students).

Review of the Chairman of the Board of Directors for 2023

Henri Kuitunen

2023 was both an important and a good year for Metropolia University of Applied Sciences. Last year our turnover increased by almost 10%, and with expenses kept in check despite pressure to increase them, we managed to have a clearly positive performance, exceeding that of the previous year and the target set for us. This enabled us to strengthen our balance sheet, which is crucial for us as we pursue the goals in our strategy. As we analyse in more detail the factors that contributed to our success last year, we can conclude that we did well in a number of sectors. Our domestic business increased by around 10%, and the number of students graduating also went up. The volume of RDI operations, so important these days, more than doubled.

We also had international success. In addition to the fact that in 2023 we passed the evaluation of the Finnish Education Evaluation Centre (FINEEC), the U!REKA SHIFT alliance we are coordinating was chosen for the European Universities initiative. All of the above means that both our students and staff alike have a huge opportunity to develop themselves, to be involved in development projects and to help Finnish society overcome future challenges.

This is a foundation on which Metropolia can build its future with confidence. We have a successful and busy year behind us. On behalf of the Board of Directors and myself, I wish to extend the warmest gratitude to the students, staff, owners and all stakeholders for a good year with seamless cooperation.

This is a good opportunity for me to announce that I will be leaving my position as Chairman of the Board of Directors after 15 years. This has been a fine period for me. I thank you all warmly for it.

Henri Kuitunen
Chairman of the Board of Directors

Income statement 2023

Personnel expenses-76,615,775.28-71,038,482.11
Depreciation and impairment-7,348,689.32-7,869,576.68
Other operating expenses-36,492,620.02-30,127,100.69
OPERATING PROFIT1,391,155.242,098,585.94
Financial income and expenses2,018,685.45-1,162,302.01
Taxes on income-179,335.84-245,412.87
PROFIT FOR THE FINANCIAL YEAR4,214,043.18204,352.34

Balance sheet 2023

Non-current assets
Intangible assets
Intangible rights272,409.81211,697.11
Other non-current expenditure10,277,803.1111,154,114.30
Total intangible assets10,550,212.9211,365,811.41
Tangible assets
Buildings and structures289,669.15483,067.11
Machinery and equipment8,393,405.2410,192,456.39
Other tangible assets13,048.39 13,048.39
Advance payments and work in progress0.000.00
Total tangible assets8,696,122.7810,688,571.89
Other investments93,651.0050,002.00
Associated company investments500,000.00500,000.00
Other receivables47,380,785.0217,552,706.41
Total investments47,974,436.0218,102,708.41
TOTAL NON-CURRENT ASSETS67,220,771.7240,157,091.71
Current assets
Non-current receivables
Other receivables3,923,073.681,230,523.94
Prepayments and accrued income240.00240.00
Total non-current receivables3,923,313.681,230,763.94
Current receivables
Trade receivables1,822,845.921,697,145.96
Other receivables3,073,482.552,578,952.49
Prepayments and accrued income5,183,616.842,175,480.88
Financial securities5,224,094.1930,002,550.16
Total current receivables15,304,039.5036,454,129.49
Cash and cash equivalents7,189,348.088,569,318.81
TOTAL CURRENT ASSETS26,416,701.2646,254,212.24
TOTAL ASSETS93,637,472.9886,411,303.95
Share capital4,500,000.004,500,000.00
Other reserves
Reserve for invested unrestricted equity6,480,117.926,480,117.92
Reserve for donations received747,942.27985,123.30
Other reserves106,658.94106,658.94
Profit/loss from previous years brought forward43,203,130.1442,998,777.80
Profit/loss for the period4,214,043.18204,352.34
TOTAL EQUITY59,251,892.4555,275,030.30
Mandatory provisions906,891.981,533,494.53
Non-current liabilities0.000.00
Current liabilities
Prepayments received13,603,896.5412,110,142.12
Trade payables4,673,758.324,303,109.30
Other liabilities7,341,741.506,733,098.78
Accrued liabilities7,859,292.196,456,428.92
Total current liabilities33,478,688.5529,602,779.12
TOTAL LIABILITIES33,478,688.5529,602,779.12
TOTAL EQUITY AND LIABILITIE93,637,472.9886,411,303.95