Governance and Entrepreneurship in Northern and Indigenous Areas - master

STUDIESTED: Tromsø, Saskatoon, Other

GENI is a master's program designed to help students take a leadership role in supporting northern and Indigenous communities with governance and economic development through innovative and entrepreneurial approaches.The program includes two field schools, one in Canada and one in Norway, where students are given the opportunity to explore the environment and meet the community stakeholders who represent the focus of the program. As part of the program, all students will be placed in a brief research internship with a Northern stakeholder.

GENI is a joint master's program offered by UiT The Arctic University of Norway and the University of Saskatchewan, Canada.

No new students will be admitted for the 2018/2019 academic year. The next admissions deadline is planned for Spring 2019.

Duration:3 Years
Location: Tromsø Saskatoon Other
Credits (ECTS):120
Qualification:Master in Governance and Entrepreneurship in Northern and Indigenous Areas
Admission requirements:Bachelor's degree in social sciences, law or education and a statement of intent.
Application deadline:No admission in 2018
Application code:

This master's program provides competence in the fields of governance, consultation and entrepreneurship for northern and indigenous communities. It is a venue for students interested in comparing governance challenges in a circumpolar context. The graduates will form an international professional network for sharing a common experience and understanding of the current and future challenges of the North, and how to best resolve them in ways that strengthen the position of the communities and the peoples of the region. An important outcome of the program is to provide students with the ability to take a leadership role in supporting their communities with economic development by using innovative and entrepreneurial approaches.

Mobility is an integrated part of the program. Students are expected to participate in short-term exchanges in the form of field schools, both in Northern Saskatchewan and Northern Norway. Flexible education and online teaching will be a part of all core courses in the program. Through the applied research based internship-course, the program will provide students with a unique opportunity to gain work experience from industry, government and indigenous peoples concerning natural resource management, consultations and negotiations, and economic development or other governance issues in the circumpolar north. Thus, the program combines topical issues with practical application through internship placement and student mobility.

Duration: 3 years (flexible, partly online study).

Term 10 ects 10 ects 10 ects
Semester I: Fall-2017
Communication I: Academic and Professional Writing
(U of S, 5 ECTS)
Semester II: Spring-2018
Resource Economics
(U of S, 10 ECTS)
Semester III: Fall-2018
Circumpolar Innovation (U of S)
(U of S, 10 ECTS)
Communication II: Consultations and Negotiations
(U of S, 5 ECTS)
Semester IV: Spring-2019
Group B Restricted Elective
Semester V: Fall-2019
Group B Restricted Elective
Semester VI: Spring-2020

The GENI program will provide students with the opportunity for a high level comparative and collaborative learning between two northern and indigenous regions, Northern Norway and Northern Saskatchewan, through applied research with government, indigenous organizations, and industry, international field schools, and faculty teaching exchanges. A primary goal of this program is to build capacity in the areas of governance and entrepreneurship for northern and indigenous communities.

 Students who have successfully completed the GENI program, are expected to have achieved the following learning outcomes:  


Students will have

  • acquired advanced knowledge about actors, institutions and processes of vital importance for the development in the circumpolar North.
  • acquired advanced knowledge about a variety of analytical approaches to governance and will be able to apply this knowledge to evaluate how different governance system may hamper and promote innovation in society and communities.
  • got specialized insights into basic economic principles shaping natural resource development and challenges, as well as opportunities for wealth creation through entrepreneurship and innovation in northern and indigenous communities.
  • acquired advanced knowledge on ways to communicate academic knowledge and special insights in how to solve conflicts among individuals and organized groups.
  • the ability to analyze academic problems on the basis of the history, traditions, distinctive character and place in society of the academic field. 


Students will

  • be able to carry out critical examination of government policies, plans for business development, and community development related to the use of natural and human resources in the circumpolar North.
  • know how to critically evaluate different approaches to communication of complex challenges to societies and to assess how to undertake dialogue with community members, government officials, and industry representatives.
  • be able to carry out an independent and limited research and development project under supervision in the academic field of this program in accordance with ethical guidelines for research and appropriate norms in society.
  • have the skills and independence to evaluate the position of different actors and give relevant advises to improve their role and promote societal development. 


By the end of the program, students will have the knowledge and skills that will provide them with the requisite competencies to pursue doctoral studies in the areas of public policy, Indigenous studies, and sustainable development. Students will also be qualified for professional positions at different levels of public management and in the private sector- managing and executing reviews, and planning development processes.  

Students will be able to

  • analyze academic, professional and ethical problems relevant to public policy and the development of large projects;
  • analyze and compare the development in the circumpolar North with other geographic areas;
  • apply their knowledge and skills on governance, communication, and community development in different settings;
  • communicate relevant academic knowledge, and examine possibilities to improve communication among parties with unequal control of resources;
  • lead and encourage others to embrace new thinking and innovative processes to support sustainable development.

The program is interdisciplinary and open to students with a wide variety of educational backgrounds. Students must document at least three years of study at the university level, equivalent to a bachelor's degree in social sciences, law or education. Students must, in a statement of intent, demonstrate a basic knowledge of northern and indigenous issues, and social sciences.

Applicants must meet the general admission requirements of both UiT and UofS.

For more information about general admission requirements to Master's level study programs at UiT go to the following page

Applicants with Higher Education Entrance Qualification (GSK) from a Norwegian High School are exempted from the UofS English language proficiency requirements.

The students will be registered at both UiT The Arctic University of Norway and University of Saskatchewan, but will be dedicated to one home institution. The home institution will have primary academic oversight for their student, and also oversee all administrative tasks and responsibilities for this student. A home institution will be seleced with concerns to the students registered address, and preference.

Please note:

In the spring of 2018, the GENI will have completed a complete pilot run of its three-year program. The first three cohorts of students will continue uninterrupted, but the program will pause the new admissions in order to conduct a full program review. No new students will be admitted for the 2018/19 academic year, but we fully expect to accept a new cohort in the fall of 2019.

If you have questions regarding admission, please refer to the contact information for the GENI program.

Flexible education will be applied for all of the courses in the program, and students can be located off-campus. The organization of the teaching will depend on the character and content of each course. The type of assessment is specified in each module. The two field schools, in the first and second semester, will create a platform for building a student cohort and preparing for cooperation throughout the program and afterwards. The delivery of the joint program will include:

  • An intensive introduction week of each mandatory course by means of videoconferencing;
  • Two international fields schools;
  • Faculty mobility at the beginning of each student cohort;
  • Co-teaching of courses via videoconferencing, web-based learning, and streamed lectures;
  • Reciprocal feedback from the teachers on streamed lectures and videoconferencing;
  • Students produced video clips (interviews with local leaders) made during their internships period;
  • Student panels and colloquiums in connection with student and faculty exchange;
  • Synchronous student and faculty presence assuring immediate student feedback.

All students will be appointed an academic supervisor in the second semester prior to the internship either at University of Tromsø or at University of Saskatchewan. Supervision for the internship and project work in the fifth semester is to be given both through (online) seminars and individual supervision.

During the second semester, students will have an internship placement at a stakeholder in the North.

The goal of the internship is to prepare students for their project work, as well as to build capacity by providing experience working with industry, government, indigenous organizations and institutions, and other organizations and stakeholders. This will foster professional networks and serve the research needs of northern community organizations and other stakeholders.

Graduates of the GENI program will be prepared for careers in government, political bodies, economic agencies, industry, entrepreneurship, consulting, and non-governmental and community service organizations. The overarching aim of the GENI is to provide capacity to build northern futures.

International student mobility is a core element in the GENI program. Students will participate in two field schools in their first year of study.

Program orientation and the first field school take place in Saskatchewan, Canada in September. The second field school takes place in Northern Norway in March/April.

There is also opportunity to spend a full semester at the partner institution for the purpose of taking elective courses.

Eli-Anita Schøning, SESAM

Eli-Anita Øivand Schøning

Phone: +4777645538

Jonathan Crossen

Jonathan Crossen

Senior Lecturer / GENI Academic Coodinator
Phone: +4777645751