The mission of the Sibelius Academy is to foster and renew all forms of musical culture. As a Finnish art university operating in an international setting, Sibelius Academy creates conditions for a high standard of artistic activity, research and associated learning. As an internationally renowned university, Sibelius Academy fosters and renews music tradition in Finland and, thanks to its excellent results, has earned its place as one of the cornerstones of Finnish music culture.
The responsibilities of Sibelius Academy as an arts university are education, research, artistic activity and interaction with society.
The inner vision of the teachers supports the quality of education, and the living concert scene is social interaction at its best. The activities of Sibelius Academy are local, national and international.
In Finland, high-standard music education predates independence. Helsingin musiikkiopisto, the Music Institute of Helsinki, was founded in 1882. As activities grew, in 1924 the school was renamed the Helsinki Conservatoire, and finally in 1939, the name Sibelius Academy was adopted. With the development that begun in the 1950s, Sibelius Academy became an institute exclusively dedicated to educating professional musicians. In 1980, the Academy became property of state. The highest education degree has been equivalent to other university degrees since the 1970s, and, in 1998, the status as a university was secured.
Sibelius Academy has always reacted to changes in society by expanding the educational programme: in 1983, the Jazz and Folk Music Departments were launched. More recent arrivals have been the Degree Programmes in Arts Management and Music Technology (1997-98). In recent decades, education has been developed through international cooperation, following international quality criteria.
The adoption of the pan-European degree structure (according to the Bologna process) in autumn 2005 facilitates student and teacher mobility. Cooperation with over one hundred music universities promotes a dynamic student and teacher exchange. Sibelius Academy is a popular partner, actively participating in cooperation in education across Europe.