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The U.S.Russia Foundation for economic advancement and the rule of law (USRF)

Visit of the Association of the Russian Leading Universities to USA

Within the network «University of the Arctic» www.uarctic.org NArFU performs students selection for the international program Bachelor of Circumpolar Sciences, implemented under the network, particularly at the University Alaska Fairbanks. The program offers present knowledge about the circumpolar countries, cultures, nations, political systems, resources, environment and global challenges of the Arctic Countries and societies. Teaching is performed on-line and in English by the leading professors of American and other foreign universities.

NArFU specialists' participation in the international expert group of the program Bachelor of Circumpolar Sciences gives an opportunity to work with professors of foreign universities, including University of Alaska Fairbanks (Professor Richard Boone, Director of the Institute of Biology and Wildlife). The expert group performs an annual assessment of the curriculum and courses revision in terms of their content and reflection of three foci: Northern — American, Scandinavian and Russian.

Cooperation with American universities- members of the network «University of the Arctic» is also carried through the thematic networks linking the experts from the universities and research institutes of 8 Arctic Countries in the field of disciplinary and interdisciplinary knowledge of the North. Thematic networks compose an effective cooperation tool in the field of research, knowledge and competencies exchange, curriculum development, joint educational programs and international seminars and conferences on Arctic issues. In cooperation with American universities NArFU participates in social work (with the University of Alaska Fairbanks), work on local and regional development (with the University of Alaska Fairbanks), and work on the Arctic Engineering and Science (with University of Alaska Anchorage).

Taking in account an Arctic focus of the university and demand of development of new research areas and education programs connected with the Arctic, the NArFU considers a cooperation with leading foreign universities involved into relevant projects and programs as top-priority. University of Alaska Fairbanks is one of such actual partners. NArFu delegation will visit this university for conclusion of agreement in April 2011. Priority areas of research and educational cooperation: climate change, navigation and shipping in the Arctic Ocean basin, indigenous people, development of territories and local societies, interaction of business and universities, management in higher education system. Parties plan to discuss issues of joint educational programs, student and academic staff mobility. A joint action plan will include a priority programs and projects to be started in 2011. At the same time in spring 2011 the NArFU alpinist team will accomplish a research-sportive ski expedition to the most high-altitude part of Alaska with passing of 400 km thru glaciers and climbing up to 7 peaks of 4000–5000 m height. Expedition is dedicated to 300th anniversary of M.v. Lomonosov, the 70th anniversary of USSR-USA lend-lease treaty and 20 years of the Rescue service, RF.

University of North Carolina is another prospective partner of NArFU within its Arctic focus and priority areas of development. At the present time both universities are being working on application to the National Research Foundation for support of joint activities in Chapel Hill center of sustainable energy, environment and economic development. Climate change, bio- and energy resources, energy efficiency environment protection technologies, radioactive waste materials management, socio-cultural development are considered as most prospective areas of cooperation.

NArFU is planning to prolong its cooperation within social-political and humanitarian studies with universities of Kansas and Fairfield. American studies including 10 courses on USA history and culture is one of specializations in the faculty of history. Since 2003, when this specialization was launched, all courses have been taught with participation of lecturers from US. An extra-curricular work within American studies is presented by activities of student voluntary American club. This association has been developing Russian-American cooperation thru student exchange, organization of conferences and support of social networking with students from USA universities. American club activities are directly supported by USA General Consulate in Saint-Petersburg.

Sharing of experiences and technologies of university corporative management is another prioritized direction of NArFU cooperation with American universities. NArFU pays a special attention to American systems of student' business incubation, R&D results commercialization, promotion of innovations to industry and consumption. In particular, NArFU explores an opportunity of target-oriented cooperation in these spheres with University of Wisconsin-Madison.

NArFU is generally interested in cooperation with US business structures which are involved into activities and projects in European sector of Russian Arctic.

Potential spheres of cooperation are:

exploration and development of mainland and sea-bed oil and gas deposits in the Arctic, issues of transportation and storage;

transport and logistics infrastructure development in the Arctic;

integrated exploitation and renewal of bio-resources of Arctic seas, tundra and taiga;

integrated technologies for protection of Arctic and Subarctic environment systems;

Within spheres listed above NArFU might be considered as a center for purpose-oriented personnel training, as a base research center and as a partner in innovation and application projects developed by US companies.

Potential partner organizations from USA:

Federal Forestry Service (projects on forest reservation, biodiversity, exploitation of non-wooden resources of forests);

Oli and gas companies working in the region — ConocoPhillips, Schlumberger, ExxonMobil, Haliburton.

All the institutions mentioned above are examined by NArFU as potential partners. Meanwhile we find a strong interest to meet colleagues from the University of Alaska, North Carolina, company ConosoPhillips.

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