The first group of Bachelor of Northern Studies (BNS) students was given their diplomas from Finnmark University College and certificates from University of the Arctic in Murmansk last week.

According to project manager for the BNS program, Per Møller, it was a major milestone in this project, which will now be continued as a permanent study program at Finnmark University College. From previously, Finnmark University College has graduated five BNS-students before the ceremonies in Murmansk. - This is the first time we have a larger group that finishes and that is a milestone, says Møller.

The students who got their diplomas and certificates, come from Murmansk State Technical University (MSTU) and Murmansk State Humanities University (MSHU). They have all been doing Bachelor of Northern Studies as an undergraduate studies double-degree program.

The Russian students are studying different programs at their home university as engineering, economy, teaching, language or journalism while completing Bachelor of Northern Studies at Finnmark University College.

Both MSTU and MSHU contributed to making the ceremonies to a memorable event for the students and participating staff. The students and what they had achieved was highlighted by speeches and cultural contributions, making the ceremonies to a real treat for those who took part.

BSC graduates"Congratulations. The diploma and certificate we give you today proves that you have had to deal with complex interdisciplinary issues covering a wide range of topics. I hope this is knowledge in which makes a difference to you. I hope you are proud of what you have achieved", said the lecturer and academic responsible, Peter Haugseth, who along with project manager Per Møller, head of the Department of Business and Tourism, Jørund Greibrokk, and teacher Bjorn Sagdahl attended the ceremony on behalf of the Finnmark University College.

High North Studies

The program is interdisciplinary and addresses relevant topics in the northern areas, such as peoples and cultures, environment and resources, economy and politics, border issues, about living in arctic areas and especially in the Barents region.

"Students taking this program online, have to complete 6 core courses, each of 12 modules. They will have to perform both basic courses and advanced emphasis courses during their studies. The advanced emphasis courses can be taken on campus either in Alta, or at other universities within U-Arctic that we cooperate with", says Per Møller. "And we are about to develop a new advanced emphasis program that will be offered on-line, and this will give an opportunity to complete the BNS program also for those who, for different reasons, cannot go abroad."

Also at Ukhta State Technical University, in the Komi Republic, 5 BNS-students graduated this spring. In total, 21 Russian students graduated from Bachelor of Northern Studies, making this spring a most successful one for the BNS program.

Important for MSHU

Rector of MSHU, Andrey Sergeev, spoke during the ceremony at his university. In his