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

Diak has approximately 3,000 students in total and 250 employees.

The amount of students on Diak campuses:

  • Helsinki: 1 695
  • Oulu: 297
  • Pieksämäki: 375
  • Pori: 355
  • Turku: 143

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.


  • Managing Director, Rector Tapio Kujala
  • Director of Education, Vice Rector Pirjo Hakala
  • Director of Innovations Elina Ylikoski
  • Director of Services Elina Juntunen
  • Director of Human Resources Päivikki Rentola-Hemmi
  • acting Head 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 2018–2019

  • Director of Development Hannu Harri, Kirkkopalvelut, Chair of the Board
  • Director Olli Holmström, Helsinki Deaconess Institute Foundation
  • Director Aku Keltto, Länsi-Suomen Diakonialaitoksen säätiö
  • Director Kalle Kuusimäki, National Church Council
  • CEO Mikko Lapola, Oulun Diakonissalaitoksen säätiö
  • Bachelor of Social Services student Taija Välske, 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

  • Sirpa Pietikäinen, Member of the European Parliament
  • Elli Aaltonen
  • Cristina Andersson, CEO, Develor Productions Oy
  • Kari Haavisto, ministerial adviser, Ministry of Social Affairs and Health
  • Timo Heiskala, CEO, Evantia
  • 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)
  • Satu Sutelainen, manager of online crisis services, the Finnish Association for Mental Health
  • Tero Ristimäki, chairman of the board, Talentia
  • Jukka T. Salminen
  • Minna Säävälä, director of family services, Family Federation of Finland
  • Kaarina Torppa, chief nursing officer, the Hospital District of Helsinki and Uusimaa