The rectors´ meeting was preceded by the meetings of the working and steering groups of the individual BCBU master´s programmes in the field of environmental engineering, comparative social work, health and well-being, information technology and law. In the working groups the programme leaders, teachers and other actors concentrated in solving concrete problems related to implementation of the master´s programmes, in updating the curricula and courses and in planning next steps of the joint activities. As a closure of the BCBU event the rectors and members of the working groups convened in a joint meeting for sharing the results of the meeting days.

In the rectors´ meeting the participants discussed ongoing structural changes in the partner universities, marketing and financing issues, updating the general agreement on collaboration and internal evaluation of the joint work. Also the necessity and functionality of internal and external co-operation including the co-operation with the University of Arctic was included in the agenda. Already in the earlier BCBU rectors´ meeting held in 2010 in Rovaniemi (Finland) close co-operation with the UArctic and its thematic networks was seen as a necessary and natural element of the BCBU work in order to utilize the established relations throughout the Barents and Arctic region and avoid overlaps with the existing structures and programmes.

One of the BCBU master´s programmes – Health and Wellbeing in the Circumpolar Area – is already part of the UArctic thematic network of Arctic Medicine and its courses are available through the network to students of UArctic member universities. Outi Snellman, representing the UArctic in the BCBU rectors´ meeting, confirmed willingness of UArctic for collaboration and encouraged the BCBU partners to explore possibility to broadening multilateral contacts in the joint activities and also the other BCBU programmes to consider partnership in the suitable thematic networks.

Barents Cross-Border University (BCBU) is a network and project, which originates from the cooperation between universities in Northern Finland and Northwest Russia. The cooperation has expanded and today in the individual jointly developed BCBU master´s programmes there are partners also from other countries of the Barents Region and even wider. The cooperation has a starting point in mutual interests of the partner universities as well as in principles and aims of the partnership programs and the EU's Northern Dimension policy.

The main aim of the project is to develop jointly international multidisciplinary master’s programmes. The programs follow the principles of the Bologna process and the language of teaching is English. Later the cooperation is planned also to cover doctoral education in the same fields. Four of the five master´s programmes have started in 2009-2010 and two of them are already working with the second year´s students.  

To gain more information about the existing programmes, please follow the links:

- Barents Environmental Engineering 
- Comparative Social Work 
- Health and Wellbeing in the Circumpolar Area  
- Software, Systems and Services Development in Global Environment