Diak is a national higher education institution with campuses across Finland: Helsinki, Pieksämäki, Pori, Oulu and Turku.

Diak has approximately 3,700 students in total and 250 employees.

The amount of students on Diak campuses

  • Helsinki: 2124 / 147
  • Oulu: 410 / 37
  • Pieksämäki: 491 / 35
  • Pori: 495 / 17
  • Turku: 177 / 16

Numbers are from October 2020.

Diak is a diverse community

Diak offers a multicultural and multi-faith learning and working environment. Students and employees are not required to be members of the Evangelical-Lutheran Church of Finland.

Our community members represent various faiths and world views.

Largest in the field of social work

Diak is Finland’s largest provider of UAS-level education in social work. In the health and social care sector, it is the only national UAS offering education and services for workplace organisations across Finland.

We offer degree programmes in nursing in three languages: Finnish, Swedish and English.

Diak is responsible for over 90% of the provision of UAS-level education that qualifies graduates for diaconal and youth work roles in the Evangelical-Lutheran Church of Finland. Approximately one in four of Diak graduates complete a diaconal degree.

Diak is the only Finnish UAS that offers education in public service interpreting.

Through its RDI activities, Diak participates in the regional, national and international development of its educational fields.

Diak is a privately owned university of applied sciences. The main shareholders are church foundations and institutions.

Diak is organised in four divisions: Rectorate, Education, Innovations and Campus Services.

Executive Group

The Executive Group’s duties:

  • decision-making on key development matters;
  • preparation of decision-making matters for the Board and the Managing Director, Rector;
  • oversight of operational and financial planning and assessment.


  • CEO, Rector Elina Juntunen
  • Director of Education, Vice Rector Pirjo Hakala
  • Director of Innovations Elina Ylikoski
  • Director of Services Johanna Lammi
  • Director of Human Resources Päivikki Rentola-Hemmi
  • Director of Finance Sari Otsavaara
  • Head of Communications Aura Vuorenrinne

Board of Directors

The Diak Board of Directors includes several representatives from the world of work. This ensures a strong workplace focus in our activities, which is an important requirement for universities of applied sciences. In addition, the Board includes representatives of students and staff members.

The Board is responsible for

  • decisions on the key targets, strategy and operating principles of the institution’s operations and finances;
  • decisions on operating plans, finance plans and budgets;
  • decisions on student numbers.

Diaconia University of Applied Sciences Ltd Board of Directors 2021–2022

  • Director of Development Hannu Harri, Kirkkopalvelut, Chair of the Board
  • Director Olli Holmström, Helsinki Deaconess Institute Foundation
  • CEO Heikki Arikka, Diakon Palvelut
  • Director Kalle Kuusimäki, National Church Council
  • CEO Mikko Lapola, Oulun Diakonissalaitoksen säätiö
  • Bachelor of Social Services student Roby Mountrakis, Diaconia UAS
  • Lecturer Sanna-Maija Kohonen, Diaconia UAS
  • Secretary, Education and Social Policy Terhi Peltokorpi, Vice-chair


Diak is a privately owned university of applied sciences. The owners are the following:

Advisory council for employment matters

The advisory council is a cooperation body of Diak and its stakeholders. The council promotes the development of innovation activity at Diak.

Topics covered by the council include e.g. Diak’s

  • role as a national operator;
  • ability to generate public debate on topics such as immigration, multiculturalism, interfaith dialogue, social exclusion, inequality, social safety networks, food bank queues and the role of diaconal work;
  • role in social challenges and new educational missions;
  • ability to develop workplace skills among students and teaching staff.

Members of the advisory council

  • Cristina Andersson, CEO, Develor Productions Ltd.
  • Outi Antila, Director General, Kela
  • Saara Hassinen, CEO, Healthtech
  • Timo Heiskala, CEO, Autism Foundation Finland
  • Kari Kanala, the vicar of the parish of Paavali
  • Teemu Laajasalo, the bishop of Helsinki, the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland
  • Tiina Mäki, director of administration, City of Helsinki
  • Päivi Nerg, permanent under-secretary, Ministry of Finance
  • Maria Ohisalo, researcher, Y-Foundation (not participating the council while workingas the Minister of the Interior)
  • Sirpa Pietikäinen, MEP, European Parliament
  • Satu Raappana, Executive Director, Sekasin Collective