Professor of the Year 2016 – Professor Eeva Anttila




Professor of the Year 2016 – Professor Eeva Anttila

The Finnish Union of University Professors has named Eeva Anttila, Professor of Dance Pedagogy at the Theatre Academy, University of the Arts Helsinki, as Professor of the Year 2016. Eeva Anttila is the only Professor of Dance Pedagogy in the entire Nordic region.

The honour was announced at the Communicatio Academica event held on Friday, 15 January 2016 in Rovaniemi. The Professor of the Year title comes with an award of 20,000 euro.

”This marks the first time when the Professor of the Year title is awarded to a professor in the field of theatre and dance. Professor Eeva Anttila’s work combines, in an exemplary fashion, both research and art. She is highly respected both among professors and the entire science and art community. Anttila is an esteemed educator who promotes communal engagement and creative learning. She is concerned about the increasing inequality of education and seeks, through her research and other activities, to diminish such differences,” states Kaarle Hämeri, Chair of the Finnish Union of University Professors, as the grounds for Anttila’s selection.   

Eeva Anttila (56) completed her Doctor of Arts degree at the Theatre Academy in 2003. The theme of her dissertation was dialogical dance pedagogy. Upon completing her doctorate, Anttila immediately began her research work in a project funded by the Academy of Finland (Ethics and Politics in Dance, 2002-2004). The next three-year project (Challenging the Notion of Knowledge, 2005-2007) was jointly funded by the Academy of Finland and the Arts Council of Finland (currently Arts Promotion Centre Finland).

During the years 2009-2013, Anttila headed a development project and broad study in art pedagogy, entitled ‘The Entire School Dances!’ (Koko koulu tanssii!), which was funded by the Ministry of Education and Culture and the City of Vantaa. The project held and still holds practical significance for, among other areas, the expansion of the learning concept that guides comprehensive-school education.    

Her research work continues in her current position as the head of the Arts@School research group within the project entitled Arts as Public Service: Strategic Steps towards Equality, which is funded by the Strategic Research Council. The aim is to develop communal engagement and functional pedagogical methods, and to determine how art might better support equal opportunities for learning and participation in schools.

Anttila has worked as a professor at the Theatre Academy since 2006 with a special emphasis on the Master’s degree programme in dance pedagogy. Anttila’s pedagogical expertise can also be seen in the planning and implementation of the University pedagogy in the field of arts programme, which was initiated in 2014.

Eeva Anttila has a long list of merits within the university community. She has served as a representative of professors on the Board of the University of the Arts Helsinki since 2014. She has played a role in influencing the personnel policies and strategy work of the University of the Arts Helsinki.

Professor Anttila has been actively engaged in numerous scientific and professional organisations and has published articles on both the national and international level. She has also served, for example, as the Chair of UNESCO’s Dance and the Child International organisation from 2009-2012, and is one of the founders and Editors of the Nordic Journal of Dance: Practice, Education and Research publication.



Eeva Anttila, Professor, +358 (0)40 585 8415;

Kaarle Hämeri, Chair of the Finnish Union of University Professors, +358 (0)40 568 4487;

Kirsti Sintonen, Communications Manager, +358 (0)40 5622 965;

Photos: Milla Talassalo, Communications Assistant, +358 (0)50 337 0551