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Personal profile

Description of research and teaching

Hannele Niemi is Professor, Research Director at the University of Helsinki and been she has nominated as UNESCO Chair on Educational Ecosystems for Equity and Quality of Learning 2018-2021. She is also the Chair of The University Board at the University of Lapland.


Hannele Niemi was the Professor of Education (1998-2016) at the University of Helsinki. She started as the Research Director 2017. She is the Chair of the Sino-Finnish Joint Learning Institute (JoLii) that includes 9 Finnish universities, working in cooperation with Beijing Normal University and many Chinese Universities. Her experience at the University of Helsinki also includes her roles as the Vice Rector for Academic Affairs (2003–2009), the Dean of the Faculty of Education (2001–2003), the Head of the Department of Education (1998–2000), and the Vice Dean (1998–2000) of the Faculty of Education. Prior to working at the University of Helsinki, Niemi served as a Professor of Education in the Teacher Education Departments of Oulu, Turku, and Tampere Universities in Finland (1987–1998). She also served as a Visiting Professor at Michigan State University (1989) and as a Visiting Scholar at Stanford University (2010, 2013, and 2015, 7 months in total).


Niemi has been given the honor of Doctor or Professor Honoris Causa at the University of Bucharest in Romania (2010), the J.C. Koh Professorship at Nayang Technological University in Singapore (2010), the honor of Doctor at the University of Lapland (2012) and the National Defense University in Finland (2013). She was selected as the most influential person in education in 2013 by the Finnish Teacher's Union and was invited to become a member of the Finnish Academy of Science and Letters in Academia (Scientiarum Fennica) in 2004.


Niemi has been a scientific leader for several large national research projects in Finland, including the Finnable 2020 (finnable.fi) program for advancing educational technology and 21st century skills in schools (2012–2015). She also served as Director of the national research program "Life as Learning", which was supported by the Academy of Finland (2002–2006). She has been a member of a Steering Committee of the British National Research Programme (the Teaching and Learning Research Programme [TLRP]; 2003–2008). She currently serves as an advisor and reviewer for several scientific journals.


Niemi has worked as a reviewer for research councils in many countries, including Norway, Portugal, Estonia, and Singapore. She has served as a member of several scientific councils, including the European Science Foundation, the Academy of Finland, and the University of Helsinki. She has been invited to act as a panel member and Chair of the Research Evaluation of Educational Sciences at the University of Gothenburg (2010–2011) and the University of Jyväskylä (2006). She has been a member of the Finnish Higher Education Evaluation Council (2004–2009), and has served as Chair of the Finnish Education Evaluation Council (2012–2014). She has been invited to serve as an expert and steering committee member of the Institutional Evaluation Programme held by the European University Association. She has also been invited to act as a panel member for the evaluations of the quality and effectiveness of nine universities in Europe (2005–2015). She was an establishing member of CICERO Learning Network of several Finnish universities for promoting multidisciplinary research on learning, chaired it 2005-2010, and has been since then a Board member. She is a Chair of the international network of Teacher Education Policy in Europe [TEPE] 2014-.


Niemi has contributed to many European Union [EU] and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development [OECD] projects as an expert or researcher and served as a keynote lecturer at several international forums in Singapore, Thailand, China, Malaysia, the USA, Saudi Arabia, Hungary, Slovenia, Spain, Portugal, German, Norway, Sweden, Scotland, England, France, and Estonia. Her main research interest areas are teachers’ professional development, quality of teacher education, moral education, and technology-based learning environments. She has published several articles and books on education in Finland on Finnish teacher education (Finnish Innovations and Technologies in Schools: Towards New Ecosystems of Learning,2014; The Miracle of Education: The Principles and Practices of Teaching and Learning in Finnish Schools, 2016 (Revised ed.);Research-Based Teacher Education in Finland, 2006; and Education as a Societal Contributor, 2007). Niemi has contributed to many international education research publications and has published books in more than ten languages.


She has published 45 peer-reviewed international journal articles and has contributed more than 150 peer-reviewed chapters to international books. Niemi has also published 20n books (some monographs, some edited books) and more than 100 articles in Finnish.


Professor Niemi graduated as a Master of Philosophy 1974, a Master of Theology in 1977, and finally as a Doctor of Philosophy in 1978 at the University of Helsinki.

Education/Academic qualification

Kasvatustiede, filosofian tohtori

1978 → …

External positions

Hallituksen pj, Lapin yliopsito

1 Jan 2018 → …

Kunniatohtori, Maanpuolustuskorkeakoulu

2014 → …

Kunnatohtori, University of Lapland

2013 → …

Kunniaprofessori, University of Bucarest

2010 → …

Nanyang Technological University, National Institute of Education, Singapore

2010 → …

Fields of Science

  • 516 Educational sciences
  • 515 Psychology
  • 614 Theology

International and National Collaboration

Publications and projects within past five years.