The cooperation was first established as the Joint Arctic Agenda in Oulu, Finland in September 2016 between Luleå University of Technology, UiT The Arctic University of Norway, the University of Oulu and the University of Lapland. In their meeting on November 16 Umeå University officially joined the network, thus creating the Arctic Five. Upon signing, Vice-Chancellor Hans Adolfsson of Umeå University declared, “It is self-evident for Umeå University, with our strong Arctic research profile, that we join our partners in contributing to cross-border cooperation for the advancement of our common interests.”

For the first time these university cooperation discussions also included municipal and regional authorities, including the mayors of Rovaniemi, Oulu, Tromsø and Luleå, the governor of Lapland, and representatives from the town of Kemi. Among the issues that the rectors, mayors and governors discussed were how the universities can contribute to intensified cross-border partnerships with their respective urban regions, and a proposal on a regional task force on innovation. The meeting was also joined by Marie-Anne Coninsx, Ambassador at Large for Arctic Affairs of the European Union, who addressed how EU policies toward the region work to improve stability and increase cooperation.

The Steering Committee of the Arctic Five also met on Wednesday, November 15 to detail how the cooperation between the universities would be implemented. The discussions focused on support for collaborative research projects between the partners in key thematic areas of Arctic research: mining, energy, health and wellbeing, education, Sámi indigenous issues, and regional development.

The Arctic Five universities work together in the region of Arctic Europe to create synergies and further strengthen research, education and outreach related to Arctic interests. The partnership provides a foundation for the higher education institutions of the region to make their voice heard in a global context and to provide unique opportunities for students, faculties and stakeholders. This cooperation ensures that higher education and research are at the forefront of strengthening cross-border ties that promote sustainable futures for all who live and work in the region.

More information:

Outi Snellman
Director of International Relations
University of Lapland
+358 40 501 0209