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Our Main Functions

The main functions of the National Defence University are research, education and societal impact. The main functions have strategic objectives and goals, that have been created based on our mission, vision and central principles.


Research Objectives
The NDU produces scientifically valid information and expertise in military sciences to support the long-term development of the defence system, the statutory teaching and societal Impact tasks of the university, and national decision-making. The focus of research is the changing character of war.

Research Goals

  • The research is steered and directed according to the strategies of the National Defence University and the Finnish Defence Forces. 
  • The National Defence University has an internationally recognised role in academic Russia research.
  • The National Defence University creates and develops expertise in military theory.  
  • The structure of research, the university’s functions and operating culture achieve results and make an impact.
  • Research quality is ensured with external evaluations.


Education Objectives
The National Defence University produces skilful, proficient and ethical leaders, instructors and experts in military sciences for tasks in the Finnish Defence Forces, the Border Guard and elsewhere in society. Our education provides the necessary skills required for an officer’s career. Both degree education and continuing training are student-centred, interactive and versatile, and adhere to the principles of sustainable development.

Education Goals

  • The military theory knowledge requirements meet the needs of the Defence Forces and the Border Guard.
  • The teaching process in military educational establishments is streamlined and effective. 
  • We are able to work and teach in a versatile and changing operating environment.
  • The education produces the required skills.
  • The learning environments and pedagogical solutions facilitate learning.

Societal Impact

Societal Impact Objectives
The National Defence University is a respected, trusted and widely networked university specialising in military sciences, and a strong influencer in questions related to the security and stability of society.

Societal Impact Goals

  • Societal impact is strengthened by increasing openness, transparency and by being active. 
  • The university strives to have a societal impact both on the national and international stage.
  • We apply for external funding in order to enable strategic guidance of our activity.
  • Our activities are developed on forums that advance the security and stability of society.
  • The National Defence University’s Social Responsibility Programme includes sustainable development, good and responsible governance, and communication.

Support Services

We also have support services to help us achieve the goals set for our main functions. The main focus areas of the support services are cost-effectiveness, support to good governance, common services and a safe operting environment.

The support services assist the main functions reaching their goals, using the following principles:

  • The National Defence University has a working organisation and an open operating culture. 
  • We ensure the quality of the personnel’s skills and recruiting. 
  • We develop the comprehensive human performance of personnel. 
  • We ensure that we have suitable and cost-effective facilities as student numbers grow.
  • Well-working IT services ensure learning and teaching.