The meeting was attended by the UArctic members: University of Tromso, University of Nordland, Northern State Medical University, Murmansk State Humanities University, Murmansk State Technical University, Murmansk Humanities Institute and Northern (Arctic) Federal University.

The main objective was to discuss the ways of strengthening cooperation in the field of higher education and research in the Barents region. The participants discussed the current status, framework of the working group, its goal, functions and objectives, and stressed the necessity of the group as an instrument for further academic cooperation in the region.
It was acknowledged that challenges in higher education and research in the Barents Region should be overcome through communication process with member-institutions. The participants stressed the importance of establishment communication platform to develop cooperation between the working group members in order to continue internationalization of higher education and research.

It was emphasized that the links of the working group with other existing international networks, bodies and agencies become crucial to address the challenges from universities in the Barents region. Better links required with University of the Arctic, EU Commission, Arctic Council, national ministries, and authorities. At the same time the working group should follow the goal to develop interaction between research, education and business.

On the meeting the participants supported the idea to delegate the chairmanship to the Northern (Arctic) Federal University. On behalf of NARFU Vice–rector for international cooperation Marina Kalinina accepted an offer.

The working group members agreed that the group has to become more visible within the University of the Arctic Association. The participants initiated a number of ideas of joint projects and activities. Among those it was proposed that Barents Conference will be held at the Northern (Arctic) Federal University in autumn 2012 to evaluate the 20-years experience of university cooperation in the Barents Region since the Kirkenes Declaration was signed, and to address challenges in the field of higher education and research for new decade.