Over eighty Council members and other participants, including Senior Arctic Officials of the Arctic Council, attended the meetings and enjoyed a diverse cultural program and excursions among the spectacular scenery of Greenland. The presence of the SAOs, including their Chair Aleksi Härkönen of Finland, is especially pertinent with Finland’s chairmanship period and their choice of education as a key priority.
The annual Council meeting of UArctic is an opportunity for representatives of all our member organizations to shape the future of the network, and forge closer cooperation through our various programs including Thematic Networks, north2north student mobility, and joint academic offerings. In addition, a series of networking sessions were held provide feedback on how we can learn and grow from our collective experience of developing and delivering higher education and research in and for the Circumpolar North. These sessions also provide a mentoring function, helping new members better understand how they can actively participate in the network.
A record number of fourteen new members joined the UArctic network, which include Baltic State Technical University, Kajaani University of Applied Sciences, New Jersey City University, Technical University of Denmark, Western Kentucky University, Aleut International Association, Arctic Research Center of the Yamal-Nenets autonomous district, Faculty of Communication, Arts and Technology - Simon Fraser University, International Sámi Film Institute, The Fletcher School - Tufts University, Beijing Normal University, Alfred-Wegener-Institut, Arctic Centre - University of Groningen, and Centre for Polar Ecology - University of South Bohemia. The new members bring UArctic’s total membership to 188.
Council Chair Liisa Holmberg (Sámi Education Institute, Finland) remarks, "UArctic is very happy to have had our Council meeting in Greenland, and to see how well organized the local communities of Sisimiut and Nuuk are, which obviously has an impact on the quality of education. We are glad to have a number of members in Greenland who are very active and real Arctic specialists. We look forward holding other UArctic events in Greenland in the near future."
The meeting also welcomed seven new Thematic Networks to UArctic, including:
- Thematic Network on Arctic Lingua, hosted by International Ethno-Linguistic Center “Arctic Lingua”, North-Eastern Federal University, Russia.
- Thematic Network on Arctic Migration, hosted by the Arctic Centre, University of Lapland, Finland.
- Thematic Network on Arctic Research Administration, hosted by Pitirim Sorokin Syktyvkar State University, Russia.
- Thematic Network on Arctic WASH, hosted by Arctic Technology Centre – ARTEK, Technical University of Denmark, Greenland.
- Thematic Network on Arthropods of the Tundra / NeAT, hosted by the Department of Bioscience, Aarhus University, Denmark.
- Thematic Network on Global Ecological and Economic Connections in Arctic and Sub-Arctic Crab Fisheries, hosted by the Department of Sociology, Environmental and Business Economics, University of Southern Denmark.
- Thematic Network on Science Diplomacy, hosted by The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University, USA.
The next Council meeting of the will take place in the context of the second UArctic Congress to be held in Oulu and Helsinki Finland, in September 2018, where the Board, Rectors' Forum and Thematic Networks of UArctic all meet together with the Council.
The University of the Arctic (UArctic) is a cooperative network of universities, colleges, research institutes and other organizations concerned with education and research in and about the North. UArctic builds and strengthens collective resources and collaborative infrastructure that enables member institutions to better serve their constituents and their regions. Through cooperation in education, research and outreach we enhance human capacity in the North, promote viable communities and sustainable economies, and forge global partnerships.