Education and Training

Professional education in circus arts is provided in two institutions, the Arts Academy at Turku University of Applied Sciences and Salpaus Further Education in Lahti. Annually approximately 15–20 students in total graduate from these two institutions. 

Salpaus Further Education, Lahti

Secondary-level circus artist training began in Lahti in 1998 and became a three-year course in 2002. The programme was properly established in 2006. The aim of this three-year training is to teach diverse skills that will allow graduates to work as circus artists. The programme is international and taught in English and Finnish. In 2014 the institution got a new training space and venue equipped for circus in the city of Lahti.

Arts Academy at Turku University of Applied Sciences

Circus training began in Turku in 1994. Nowadays the university educates both performers and pedagogues. The current four-year programme is an independent part of the performing arts degree programme. The aim of the artistic pedagogical training is to enable graduates to work as circus performers or teachers.

Youth circuses

The first Finnish youth circus was established in 1972. Since then the rapidly growing interest in circus as a hobby for children and young people has blossomed into a country-wide network of youth circus schools and clubs, which nowadays also offer courses for adults. All in all, the wide range of youth circus activities available has created a solid base for the development of the circus field in Finland.

The Finnish Youth Circus Association was founded in 1991. Its members are youth circuses from around Finland. Today (2016) the association has 45 member circuses and they have around 9 000 amateurs training circus as a hobby. The association organises training, events and camps for its members. Additionally it strives to raise the profile of circus as a hobby, to make it easier for people to take part in circus training, and to raise the standard of training in Finland. The association also publishes a magazine and is connected internationally.

Extracurricular art education

The system of Basic Education in the Arts offers extracurricular arts education primarily to children and young people. Basic arts education given in different forms of art progresses in a goal-oriented manner from level to level. It provides skills for self-expression and works as a basis for vocational or higher education in the field. Basic education on an advanced level in circus arts is given in six youth circuses in Finland.  This program is approved by the Finnish Ministry of Education and Culture. For more information on basic education in the arts please visit The Finnish National Board of Education website.