Use of the title of professor

The Finnish Union of University Professors views it as important for professors to be considered as experts in public. Occasionally, there still seems to be some ambiguity when it comes to the use of the title of professor.

An individual working in a permanent or fixed-term professorship is entitled to use the title of professor in public. The title can also be used after retirement if the individual has held a permanent position as a professor.

Universities have taken other titles derived from or including the word professor into use, but the holders of these titles are not considered professors as intended by the Universities Act. Such individuals may not present themselves using the title of professor but, rather, using their entire given title. Such titles include: Professor of Practice (työelämäprofessori in Finnish) and assistant/associate professor (apulaisprofessori suomeksi).

The position of a professor at universities and research institutes always includes a peer assessment as required by the Universities Act. Statements on the qualifications and merits of applicants are requested from a minimum of two assessors. The peer assessment is generally not required to fill the position of a Professor of Practice.

The Union states that, in order to avoid any ambiguity, all titles derived from or including the word professor must be used in full and not shortened to ‘professor’.