The seminar was located to the Barents Secretariat and was opened by the new rector of Finnmark University College, Sveinung Eikeland, who also was making a presentation on High North politics. The director of the Barents Secretariat, Rune Rafaelsen, followed up, drawing an interesting picture of the Barents cooperation and future challenges, while the managing lead of the Barents Institute, Svein Helge Orheim, informed about regional development in light of the High North policy and Barents cooperation.
living_inthe_northThe remaining part of the seminar was mainly devoted to presentations and discussions on a variety of Barents topics with a special focus on peoples and cultures, history, economic and political development . An excursion to the area of Kirkenes for the eight Russian participants was also organized.

The main goal of the project, present results and the presentations, is to develop special knowledge on the Barents region for use as additional modules to the circumpolar courses developed by University of the Arctic, making the core part of the bachelor program, Bachelor of Northern Studies (BNS). Finnmark University College has for some time been offering this program, partly online and in cooperation with Russian member universities of University of the Arctic. While preparing for taking the revised circumpolar courses into use, Finnmark University College together with MSHU are writing new research based modules on the Barents region to increase the relevance of the BNS degree program for students living in the region. Murmansk State Technical University is also contributing to this work, a project that will be continued and ended in 2012.

Per Moeller,
Program coordinator,
Finnmark University College.