The participants of BEAC Working Group discuss the new Kirkenes declaration

The participants of BEAC Working Group discuss the new Kirkenes declaration

A Meeting of BEAC Joint Working Group on Education and Research took place in the Northern (Arctic) Federal University. Our university and the University of Tromsø co-chair the working group since September 2011.

The meeting was facing a remarkable event – twenty years’ anniversary of signing the Kirkenes Declaration which served as a starting point for developing a new model of cross-border cooperation in Barents region. The participants of the meeting were the representatives of leading universities from four countries of the Barents region; it is the first time from late 90-s when the Working Group gathered so many participants.

The meeting started with greeting words made by Rector of NArFU Elena Kydryashova. She noticed that the Joint Working Group, which is authorized to act on both the governmental and regional level, is intended to become an efficient instrument for the development of research and educational partnership and implementation of the existing plans during the new stage of the Barents region cooperation.

- I assume that the Joint Working Group has at least 3 important tasks to be performed. Firstly, to evaluate the previous partnership and the lessons learned. Secondly, to analyse the modern challenges and perspectives for cooperation. And thirdly, to transfer the ideas of the Barents academic community to be included into the new fundamental document – Kirkenes Declaration, - Elena Kydryashova said.

Marina Kalinina from NArFU, Astrid Revhaug (University of Tromsø, Norway), Harri Malinen (University of Lapland, Finland), Alexey Rogozin (Petrozavodsk State University, Russia), Ingvar Hauge (Finnmark University College, Norway), Per-Anders Forstorp (Linköping University, Sweden), Natalya Anikeeva (Murmansk State Technical University, Russia), Olga Alekseevich (Syktyvkar State University, Russia), Andrey Kazakov (University of Nordland), Yuriy Sumarokov (Northern State Medical University, Russia) spoke about the achievements and merits, problems and perspectives of their universities.

The Working group has a vast action plan. Among the points to do during this year – to expand the structure by inviting other educational, research institutes and authorities for membership, to provide connections with other Working groups of the Barents region, to share experiences in the framework of different consortiums and networks. The Working Group also aims to participate in solving the issue of climate changes, to develop the partnership between business and education and to initiate bilateral inter-governmental working groups with BEAR countries. The participants also paid attention to creating new proposals that could be included in the new Kirkines Declaration.

The meeting ended with summing-up, then the participants made a memorable photo. The next meeting of the Working Group on Education and Research will be held in the city of Bodø, Norway.

Vladimir Tyurin

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