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Educational and research dimensions of the Barents Region

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1 Educational and research dimensions of the Barents Region
Associate Professor, Ph.D., Anatoli Bourmistrov and Head of International Office Tine Viveka Westerberg Bodø University College Norway Petrozavodsk, February 21st 2006

2 WP3 history Headed by Rector Professor Frode Mellemvik, Bodø University College (Professor Ingvild Broch, University of Tromsø) The other members are: Professor Esa Niemi, Oulu University Professor Alexander Fedorov, Petrosavodzk State Pedagogical University Professor Peter Sköld, Umeå University

3 Tasks, results and milestones
generate new co-operation projects related to research and higher education in the Barents region. to make suggestions on how to improve the education and research co-operation situation in the Barents region for selected areas, including undertaking a SWOT analysis. to present at least 5 new research projects. Milestones: Mapping Contact Dialogue Implementation

4 SWOT analysis Strengths
Barents area has a long historical background of East-West border crossing trade and relations Attitude towards the Barents co-operation is very positive The situation within education and research in all country in the Barents region are quite similar, thus it is natural that institutions are doing things together The Barents region is Europe’s richest region in natural resources (oil, gas, minerals, forest). The Barents region has good educational institutions network, especially if it compared to the density of population There are competent people living in the region.

5 SWOT analysis Weaknesses
There are several networks in the Barents region (e.g. The Arctic, the Arctic region of the Nordic countries and so on). There is not real distribution of work between these networks There is not a sustainable way to have funding for the co-operation activities. Each funding source has its own focus and this focus tends to change. Lack of transportation infrastructure in the region. Lack of a common understanding of the education systems, a transparency in the systems and a meeting ground for administrative staff in Higher Education and Research institutions. Co-operation in Barents region is often on bilateral basis

6 SWOT analysis Opportunities
The focus of the High North in Russia, the Scandinavian countries, the USA and Europe. The optimism based on the oil and gas exploration and exploitation gives increased opportunities for higher education and research cooperation. The Bologna process will to some extent harmonize the educational systems in the Barents region. This will offer a new ground for everyday co-operation in higher education There are some experiences of common distance education programmes and projects in the Barents region. In the future using ICT in education will offer more and more possibilities for co-operation There are some specific aspects in the Barents region (e.g. energy, environment, climate, industry etc.) which can offer unique research subjects.

7 SWOT analysis Threats More and more people, especially young ones are moving to the southern parts of the Barents countries. That will lead to the reduction of educational and research institutions in the Barents region In the enlarged EU there is a threat that the Northern dimension will play a less important role in the policy making for regions in the EU. And no focus means no funding.

8 Projects under WP3 Family Welfare in the Barents Region
Energy in a New Time Barents Research School in Basic Biomedical Science Indigenous Identities Virtual learning database in Barents region International web-based training course on globalisation challenges Changing Identities in the Barents region- Youth, Ethnicity, Gender and Region in a Historical and Contemporary Perspective From Bologna to Barents

Research and education based on a Balanced view The Barents 2010 strategy: “… to generate economic growth and social development by a knowledge driven and sustainable exploitation of the Region’s natural resources and to make the Barents Region competitive on the world market” What role can education and research (institutions) play in implementing this strategy? A need for a Balanced view? Barents 2010 as an “enterprise” When linking “strategy” to “actions”, what dimensions of actions are important? How to translate “strategy” to operations?


Barents 2010 Education and Research Dimension: “Customer” Perspective Who are important “customers” of E&R institutions in the Barents 2010 framework? Authorities (needs for human capital and political/administrative decision-making) Enterprises (needs for human capital and input for investment/operation decisions) Students (needs for attractive jobs and a future in the region) What is important? Attractiveness High quality Relevance Uniqueness

Barents 2010 Education and Research Dimension: Perspective of “Internal Processes” What E&R institutions in the Barents region must excel at and how? Attractive learning/research environment Prevention of youth outflow Programs relevant for future jobs in the region: close cooperation with enterprises and authorities Focusing on use of all learning technology available Combining strengths of E&R institutions: Networks of Excellence Strength: building around strong research environment/faculty Research based education programs Interdisciplinary focus into the practice Building upon the principles of the Bologna declaration Joint-degree programs in cooperation by more then 3 E&R institutions Increasing mobility, e.g. study tours, module-based programs, summer schools English language courses for both international but also “local” students Operational focus: ECTS-system, transparency, etc.

Barents 2010 Education and Research Dimension: Perspective of “Internal Processes” (cont.) A need for better effort coordination Too many (parallel) initiatives without coordination (Artic Council, Artic Forum, BEAR, Calotte Council, Northern Research Forum, University of the Artic, etc.) A need for one main coordinator of research and education issues in the Barents Region E.g. the Barents Institute Organizing for research and education To secure relevance, research activities should be linked to needs of SPs Mapping needs and coordination of work with E&R institutions A need for one stable meeting place Too many conferences (different priorities, high cost of travel) One annual conference on both general but also specific issues in research and education related to the needs of the Barents Region

Barents 2010 Education and Research Dimension: Perspective of “Learning and Growth” How will E&R institutions/networks sustain their ability to change and improve in order to implement the strategy of Barents 2010? A need for making more research and education programs in respect to research and education activities What education programs to develop in the future? How? How to improve coordination and actions in the network of E&R institutions? International researcher education in the Barents Region: what are opportunities and challenges? A need for special sector program in education and research in the framework of Barents 2010 Focus on needs of other sector programs Focus on needs of education and research in the long-term perspective

Barents 2010 Education and Research Dimension: “Financial” perspective Who are important stakeholders for E&R institutions in the Barents Region? Authorities (state/regional financing of E&R institutions) Tax payers/citizens of countries (in the Barents region) Present situation: low research spending per capita – a need for more earmarked funds! Authorities: Take responsibility by providing more financial resources A need for new funds/grants earmarked towards needs of the Barents Regions Allocated to E&R institutions in the Barents Regions (“we know the North better then others!”) Interdisciplinary research funds/grants Funds for all relevant type of education activities (including short-term exchange)

Example: How WP3 (Education and Research Sector program) can provide input to WP2 (Oil and Gas Sector program)? Possible research topics: How to achieve sustainable regional development through value creation related to exploration of oil and gas resources? Organizing for expectations: Economic models of regional and industrial development Business and societal development projects: securing profitable operations, technological excellence, protection of the environment and interests of indigenous people International and geopolitical issues How to make O&G industry more competitive? Achieving cost reduction by introducing new organizational, technological, managerial innovations Transferring weaknesses of SMEs in the supply industry to an advantage through networking and “co-opetition” Improving risks management in the oil and gas industry

Example: How WP3 (Education and Research Sector program) can provide input to WP2 (Oil and Gas Sector program)? (cont.) Education programs: Short-term course programs Providing knowledge about differences and their handling : differences in cultures and business environments and its consequences for enterprises operations positive/negative experience of operating in Norway/Russia ways of cooperation across cultures and countries: venture, alliance or consortium Mini-programs Corporate programs A set of short-term courses as a part of longer degree program Joint-degree programs Student networking through a semester stay at different locations Example: Master of Science in Energy Management (BUC (Bodø) – MGIMO (Moscow))

Next steps: One united actor for coordination: a permanent secretariat Organizing for work at Sector Program on Education and Research Central organization with representatives from 4 countries Secretariat and guidelines Establishing tight contacts between WP3 and other Sector Programs: What are your needs? Many projects: Minimum 3 countries involved and with at least 3 active E&R institutions Funding: Through cooperation with Sector Programs Special funding A meeting place: an annual conference Fixed timing 2 days: To discuss general issues To have specific focus and time for meetings Also top politicians and enterprise executives Publications

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