Barents Euro-Arctic Conference – warmth of cooperation amid Arctic conditions
Norway and Russia sign cooperation agreement. The second plenary session of the international conference on "Cooperation in the Barents Euro-Arctic Region in the field of education and science as a source of regional development" spoke to a new cooperation agreement between the Northern (Arctic) Federal University - MV University, and University College of Finnmark (Norway).
The new agreement was signed by Ingvar Hauge, senior advisor at University College Finnmark and Elena Vladimirovna Kudryashov, rector at Northern (Arctic) Federal University.Participants in the ceremony highlighted the importance of cooperation between the two universities, which has been ongoing for twenty years. Results of joint work are implemented academic exchange programs for students and teachers, activities of thematic networks in social work, and joint scientific and educational projects.
The signing of a cooperation agreement between the two universities is an important step in furthering development of the bilateral dialogue. The new document includes initiatives and projects creating joint educational products, and included introduction of distance learning, expanding both student and teacher mobility. The agreement also included active work in economic research, management of natural resources in the Arctic and innovation development.
"The first contact with the university Arkhangelsk Finnmark began in 1992, a year before signing of the Kirkenes Declaration. We can rightly be considered pioneers of the Barents cooperation in the education field. Despite all the difficulties we have experienced over the past twenty years, we have accumulated a wealth of experience and positive outcomes, not just as partners but also as great friends, "- said Elena Kudryashov. She also expressed hope that the new agreement will be the beginning of a new stage of cooperation between universities and will stimulate new and interesting projects.
"Our high school prioritizes cooperation with neighbors from the universities of Arkhangelsk and Murmansk. This new agreement will positively influence development of cooperation in such areas as economics, social work, and management of natural resources. A very important item in the contract is the exchange of students and teachers, "- said Ingvar Hauge.
Members Meeting - Vice–Rector of International Cooperation at Northern (Arctic) Federal University, Marina Kalinina and Vice President of Education in the University of Tromsø, Norway’s Britt Vigdis Ekeli - reminded all present once again that the primary intent of the conference is to analyze the history of cooperation in the Barents Euro-Arctic for the past 20 years, as well as identify new opportunities for cooperation. Plenary of submitted reports, illustrating various aspects of long-term cooperation in the Barents region.
The first report was presented to Special Advisor of the Norwegian Association for Higher Education Institutions, Norway, Honorary Doctor of NArFU, Safa Ingvild Brock. In its report on "Cooperation in the field of education and science in BEAR - a brief overview of the history and prospects" it raised important historical moments of cooperation between Russia and Scandinavian countries.- 20 years ago in our region, cooperation with the Soviet Union was very limited. The situation for the Soviet people was no better. In 1992, in our first visit to Arkhangelsk, students who met us just laughed in amazement - said Ingvild Brock. - It was a difficult time for cooperation.
Twenty years ago, to call from Norway to Archangel, required a lot of permits. Today, people simply pick up the phone. Therefore, despite all the difficulties still facing us, I think we will achieve success and meet our goals.
- One of the priority tasks facing us today - is to become a center of training for Arctic projects that have national scope and focus
on international cooperation, - said Marina Kalinina. - Universities have to take part in projects such as the creation of integrated security in the Arctic, development and study of Arctic offshore areas, shipbuilding, development of the Northern Sea Route, and projects related to space monitoring.
Further reporting "on the Arctic wave EU - opportunities for universities,” presented a senior expert from (Finland) University of Lapland and the Lapland University Consortium, Harri Malinen. He spoke about programs that exist in the EU and may be included at every university.
Completing a plenary session was Anatoly Smirnov, National President of the Institute for the Study of Global Security, member of the Presidium of the Russian Academy of Natural Sciences, doctor of historical sciences, professor, and Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Russian Federation. He presented a report to the audience on "Information Technology for innovative and safe development of the region: a view from Russia."
- My topic is narrow. Information technology - is the engine of globalization, with all the scientific, research and other processes necessary for covering planet Earth, - said Anatoly. - Really, there is a lot of money and time spent on cooperation in organizing various seminars and conferences. Today these successfully replace webinars, video conferencing, and other virtual technology.
Anatoly Smirnov also presented the book "Kirkenes Declaration on Cooperation in the Barents / Euro-Arctic Region: View from Russia 20 years later," written with Yury Fokin, Advisor to the Rector of the Diplomatic Academy of Russia, Vice-President of the Foreign Policy Association of Russia, and Chairman of the Board of Trustees of NIIGloB.
- Social network Barents region could become an online interactive platform, not only for exchange of information but also for discussions of cooperation in all fields. This realizes his very first motto - "from contacts to contracts" – as Anatoly concluded his speech.
After completion of the plenary session, conference participants went to parallel thematic sections.