Novia UAS and Free Art School in Helsinki start a new cooperation

Novia University of Applied Sciences and Free Art School see many new possibilities for cooperation in the art sector in Helsinki

Novia University of Applied Sciences and Vapaa Taidekoulu – Free Art School have entered into a partnership agreement, which will give new opportunities for collaboration. Free Art School is a recognized private art school based in Helsinki. The school stands outside the public education system and represents a unique form of specialized art education in Finland. Novia UAS is Finland’s largest Swedish speaking University of Applied Sciences, with campuses in Vaasa, Turku, Raasepori and Pietarsaari.

Starting next year, students of Free Art School are given the opportunity to gain study credits at Novia Open UAS alongside their studies. The credits from the studies can be transferred, if the student starts studying at Novia’s degree programme Bachelor of Culture and Arts, Fine Arts. The partnership between the schools will open new possibilities for projects and cooperations.

Free Art School is an established player in the art sector in Finland and Novia UAS has a wide palette of degree programmes in arts and culture. There will be new opportunities to organize different types of exhibitions and artistic productions. The partnership provides new opportunities to strengthen both domestic and Nordic cooperation in the art sector. Increased cooperation among educational actors in the field of arts provides new conditions to strengthen quality in the schools’ courses.

“I’m very much looking forward to this partnership. Free Art School has a network of reputable active visual artists who serve as teachers at the school. This is a strength, as is the long tradition of the school and well-known former students,” says Örjan Andersson, President of Novia UAS.

“Free Art School, established in the 1930s, has from the beginning been multicultural and international. This cooperation, which strengthens the cooperation with the Nordics, is a natural step for us”, says Elina Merenmies, Headmaster of Free Art School.

Elina Merenmies says it is important for Free Art School to enable full-time studies in painting.

“This goal is reinforced by the partnership and new benefits will be created for our students when studies and credits can be transferred for potential further studies, and our capacity to produce different projects will grow — but our curriculum does not need to be changed in any way. Our students continue to focus on painting at the Helsinki Cable Factory under the guidance of the best teachers.”

For more information contact

Novia UAS
President Örjan Andersson
Phone: 050 527 2286


Free Art School
Headmaster Elina Merenmies, phone: 040 1655 609
Administrative Director Meri Karppanen, phone: 040 922 3171

Photo: Virppi Venell

In the article photo from left to right: Örjan Andersson, Meri Karppanen and Elina Merenmies.