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Diak is a national higher education institution with activities across Finland: Helsinki, Pori, Oulu and DiakHub Eastern Finland.

Diak has approximately 3,300 students in total and 270 employees.

The amount of students on Diak campuses

  • Helsinki: 2 450 / 159
  • Oulu: 400 / 49
  • DiakHub Eastern Finland: 400 / 22
  • Pori: 450 / 24

Numbers are from  summer 2023.

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.

Executive Group

The Executive Group’s duties:

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


  • CEO-Rector Elina Juntunen
  • Director of Education, Vice Rector Sanna Wesanko
  • Director of Innovations Elina Ylikoski
  • Director of Human Resources Päivikki Rentola-Hemmi
  • Director of Finance and Administration Anna-Kaisa Kiiski
  • 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 2023–2024

  • Chair of the Board: Director of Development Hannu Harri, Kirkkopalvelut
  • Vice-chair: Secretary, Education and Social Policy Terhi Peltokorpi, Centre Party Parliamentary Group
  • CEO Heikki Arikka, Diakon Palvelut
  • Director Olli Holmström, Helsinki Deaconess Institute Foundation
  • Senior Lecturer Sanna-Maija Kohonen, Diaconia UAS
  • student Sanja Laitinen-Lindelöf, Diaconia UAS
  • CEO Mikko Lapola, Oulun Diakonissalaitoksen säätiö
  • Church Councillor Petri Määttä, National Church Council
  • MP Paula Risikko, The Finnish Parliament


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