New challenges and perspectives for further collaboration discussed during the International Conference “Cooperation in the Barents Euro-Arctic Region in the Field of Education and Research as a Resource for Regional Development”

The International Conference “Cooperation in the Barents Euro-Arctic Region in the field of education and research as a resource for regional development” took place in the Northern (Arctic) Federal University named after M.V. Lomonosov, Arkhangelsk on November 27-29, 2012. The Conference was organized by cooperating twin-universities NArFU and the University of Tromsø under their co-chairmanship in the BEAC Joint Working Group on Education and Science (JWGER BEAC).

Commemorating the 20th anniversary of the Barents cooperation and in the run-up to the Kirkenes Declaration 2.0, the Conference provided an international forum to discuss success stories, point out new challenges and perspectives for further collaboration, and define ways to promote cross-border capacity building within BEAR with the focus on HE&R cooperation and its significance for the regional development. Thus, the Conference highlighted the role of Universities in improving the partnering connections between businesses, political and educational sectors for the benefit of the Barents region development a changing global environment.

Marina Kalinina, Vice-Rector at the Northern (Arctic) Federal University. Photo: NArFU

The Conference program included a number of key and side events where several topics were discussed, such as; “20 years of history of cooperation in the Barents Euro-Arctic Region: success stories, perspectives, new start?”, “Cooperation in the Barents Euro-Arctic Region in the field of education: time for research based education?”, “Stream C. Research cooperation in the Barents Euro-Arctic Region: university as a resource for business and industry development.”, “ Education and career paths in the Barents Euro-Arctic Region through the eyes of young people.” One of the panels also discusses the Northern Universities for the Development of the Region: New realities – New perspectives. This was a Dialogue between the University Community and Politicians.

Panel debate. Photo: NArFU

Total number of Conference events participants was over 500 people from four different Barents countries (approx. 56% of them were female participants). The participants were leaders and senior officials from governmental and intergovernmental institutions, representatives from diplomatic services in the ranks of Ambassadors and Envoys, companies’ CEOs, 5 rectors and 9 vice-rectors, students, post-graduate students, teachers and researchers, public figures, reporters and journalists. The Minister of Education and Research of the Russian Federation, Mr. Dmitry Livanov and the Governor of the Arkhangelsk Region together with the Consul General of Sweden in St. Petersburg to NArFU were some of the contributors at the conference.

Conference results and outcomes:

  • experience exchange and best practices dissemination on the international arena with participation of leading experts, politicians, high-ranking officials, scholars, students, business;
  • Barents cooperation model promotion (by means of on-line broadcast and massive media coverage);
  • strengthening HE&R position as driving force for regional development;
  • enhancing links between politicians, authorities and universities;
  • defining new challenges and perspectives for further collaboration;
  • strengthening the role of JWGER as an efficient tool for HE&R development;
  • proposals and contributions were prepared to be included in the intergovernmental documents on further cooperation in the Barents-Euro Arctic Region (incl. new Kirkenes Declaration);
  • launching new initiatives on the federal and regional level: proposals for enhancing Barents cooperation and HEI internationalization were developed and presented to the Minister of Research and Education of the Russian Federation;
  • four  new joint projects were initiated;
  • more than 50 press-releases, articles and news about the Conference have already been published in mass media and web-pages of the Arkhangelsk Region, Northwestern Federal District, Russia and Norway.

The Conference materials are available here.

Written by Marina Kalinina,
Vice-Rector of International cooperation Northern (Arctic) Federal University


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