HEI Schools - Our Mission

At HEI Schools we are on a mission to provide high-quality education to as many children and families in the world as possible. Following a child centric, play-based learning approach based on the Finnish early education curriculum, we want to show that learning is fun. And that is not just us saying it - it's based on research! Join us on our journey!

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The beginning..

HEI Schools (Helsinki International Schools) was co-founded by the University of Helsinki and experienced educational and design experts in 2016. Embracing Nordic values of accessibility and openness, we want to make high-quality early childhood education globally available. We make this possible through a scalable, easy-to-implement licensing model, offering the curriculum, teacher training, learning environment design, carefully selected learning materials and operational support needed to start a premium early learning center. The model is based on the proven Finnish education system and Nordic heritage of high-quality everyday design.

We take a research-based approach with creative, high-level teacher training and continuous pedagogical improvements. Having the University of Helsinki as a co-founder and shareholder differentiates us from other early childhood education concepts because we are able to constantly develop our research-based pedagogical model.

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Want to stand out from the competition by offering world-famous Finnish early education to your families?

The HEI Schools Learning Center is a complete school concept with extensive support and training. Join the global community of HEI Schools partners!

HEI Schools offers a licensing model to bring high-quality Finnish education to your region. Our concept is built to help you succeed in any early education endeavor you choose.

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The University of Helsinki as a founder and shareholder

The HEI Schools model for preschools and kindergartens is developed in cooperation with the University of Helsinki and is based on principles of Finnish early childhood education.

The University of Helsinki is the oldest and largest university in Finland, and it has repeatedly been ranked among the world's top universities. The Department of Teacher Education of the University of Helsinki is the most versatile unit providing teacher education in Finland and currently ranks 22nd in the world.

Get to know our founders


Pilvi Torsti

Founder and Board Member

State Secretary, Finnish Ministry of Education 2013-15. Over 20 years of experience in international education. One of the three founders of United World College in Mostar 2006 that has offered international education for over 700 students to date. She is also an Adjunct Professor at the University of Helsinki.


Milla Kokko

Co-Founder and Board Member

Experienced business professional and strategist with deep knowhow in brand and concept building, marketing strategies and customer experience both in Finland and internationally.

Professor Lasse Lipponen

Lasse Lipponen

Head of Pedagogical Content and Co-Founder

A professor of education, with special reference to early childhood education, at the Department of Teacher Education, University of Helsinki. Visiting professor and lecturer for early education and teacher training in many universities.


Anne Rusanen

Head of Design and Co-Founder

Design and creative director with 15 years of experience in brand building, concept designing, and marketing communications for leading companies and organizations.