Report to the Senior Arctic Officials of the Arctic Council. Narvik, Norway November 28-29, 2007.
University of the Arctic
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The University of the Arctic (UArctic) is a cooperative network of universities, colleges, and other organizations committed to higher education and research in the North. UArctic constitutes 110 members from around the Arctic; 87 higher education institutions and 33 other organizations. It is now 10 years since the early idea of a University of the Arctic came from a small group of individuals at an AMAP meeting, leading to a proposal to the Senior Arctic Officials (SAOs). This proposal envisaged a geographically dispersed institution that would combine the strengths of existing establishments by bringing together students and staff. Benefits would include the sharing of Arctic knowledge, costs of expensive and/or underused facilities, and expanded opportunities for access to education among the region's residents, in particular, for the indigenous peoples of the region. The SAO’s mandated a feasibility study on the University of the Arctic, and the process led to the Iqualuit Declaration of 1998 where the Ministers, "welcome, and are pleased to announce the establishment of the University of the Arctic, a university without walls...". The official Launch of the University of the Arctic occurred in Rovaniemi, Finland, on June 12, 2001, in conjunction with the celebration of the 10th anniversary of the Rovaniemi process. In the years following the Launch, membership has increased steadily and the administrative structures to support governance and programs have been consolidated. UArctic's programs and activities have steadily progressed from the planning stage to full implementation. UArctic has since reported regularly on its development to its forefathers, the SAO's. The following presentation will give a very brief overview of new achievements, in particular focusing on upcoming events and actions that could be relevant to the work of the SAO's and the Arctic Council working groups and programs. Furthermpre, the presentation will address the need for strengthened cooperation among Arctic states in Science and Higher Education. UArctic established the UArctic Rectors’ Forum in March 2007. The next Rectors Forum will be organized in Rovaniemi, Finland, on February 27-29, 2007 in cooperation with the Standing Committee of Parliamentarians of the Arctic Region. The SAO’s are invited to send a representative to the meeting. UArctic routinely presents a written status report to the SAO’s; enclosed. In addition, the UArctic Annual Report 2006 is enclosed.
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