Study Centres

Finland’s 11 study centres represent a broad spectrum of NGOs, political parties and trade unions. The centres offer their member organizations educational, cultural and developmental services and supply financial support for the educational activities carried out by these organizations.

Brief introductions to the study centres are presented below:

The Democratic Civic Association (DCA) and associated study centre promotes interest-led study of the ideologies of peace, humanism, democracy and socialism and of the developments in culture, science, art and society achieved on the basis of these principles. The DCA supports people’s actions in the civic and cultural fields, particularly those of leftist and workers’ organizations and other civil movements. The DCA promotes contemporary Marxist studies and publishes literature and material for study and discussion.

The main task of the National Educational Association (Kansio) is to provide educational and cultural events and programmes together with its one hundred or so National Coalition Party oriented member organizations.

The Church Resources Agency Study Centre serves churches and Christian organizations. The study centre trains people to manage church affairs and to meet development challenges. The centre also produces tailored courses and development projects. The Church Resources Agency Study Centre provides financial support for the educational programmes provided by its member communities and study organizations. The study centre is maintained by the Church Resources Agency (Kirkkopalvelut ry).

The KSL Study Centre of the Civic Association for Adult Learning (KSL). KSL’s members include Finnish left-wing organizations, trade unions (Rakennusliitto, SEL and PAM) and NGOs.

The OK Study Centre of the Association for Educational Activity (AEA) provides adult education for 64 non-governmental organizations throughout Finland. Its member organizations are politically independent and represent the fields of health, education and culture, citizens’ advice, the environment and special-interest organizations.

The MSL Study Centre of the Union of Rural Education and Culture (MSL) is responsible for supporting the development of rural and village life and civic and communal activities in rural areas. MSL’s cultural services include exhibitions, artistic and cultural events, seminars and writing competitions. MSL’s activities are rooted in rural values and the ideology of Santeri Alkio (founder of the Finnish Agrarian Union, 1906).

The goal of the Swedish Study Centre (SSC) is to promote wellbeing, participation and social responsibility through popular education. The SCC serves to promote the interests of Swedish-speaking civic and local organizations by initiating new projects, providing flexible learning environments and developing a professional network of expertise. The SSC is maintained by the swedish-speaking organizations Svenska folkskolans vänner and Svenska studieförbundet.

The TJS Study Centre is the common education and service organization of two trade unions, the Confederation of Unions for Academic Professionals in Finland (AKAVA) and the Finnish Confederation of Salaried Employees (STTK). The role of the centre is to develop the expertise of professional employees and to support their trade union activities. The study centre is maintained by the Educational Federation for Unions for Professional Employees in Finland (TJS).

The WEA Study Centre offers educational and cultural services as well as educational guidance and advice on state support both to its member organizations and to external adult learners. Its member organizations include the member unions of the Central Organisation of Finnish Trade Unions (SAK), and the Finnish Social Democratic Party (SDP) and its sister organizations. The WEA strives to promote educational equality, tolerance and democracy. The study centre is maintained by the Workers' Educational Association of Finland (WEA).

The Green Cultural and Educational Centre ViSiO provides educational services to green party organizations, the Finnish Green League, NGOs and immigrant organizations. The key educational themes are sustainable development, organizational and associational activity and active citizenship. ViSiO is maintained by the Green Cultural Association ViSiLi.

The Educational Association Citizen’s Forum SKAF serves as a provider of social and cultural adult education and a developer of civic and organizational activity. Member organizations include youth associations, cultural associations, music associations, the Amateur Theatre Association of Finland and the National Senior Citizens' Association.