Cooperation Agreement Signed Between UiT and University of Akureyri

25.01.19 Strømsvold, Julie

–­ This is an important agreement to the university and our students, and will lead to increased student exchange with Iceland and stronger research at both institutions, says Husebekk.

The University of Akureyri in Iceland and UiT already have a long-standing relationship, with frequent cooperation between individual academics and faculties, and a common focus on issues surrounding The Arctic. This week, the cooperation was finally made official, when Rector Anne Husebekk and Rector Eyjólfur Guðmundsson met at UIT to sign the agreement.

Rector Anne Husebekk and Rector Eyjólfur Guðmundsson. Foto: David Jensen

–­ We base this agreement on existing cooperation between our universities and mean for this to lay the foundation for strengthened cooperation in the future, says UiT Rector Anne Husebekk.

The objectives of the agreement are to explore the development of collaborative research projects and joint academic and scientific activities, as well as student exchange and the exchange of research and teaching personnel.

Universities from Humble Beginnings 

Rector Eyjólfur Guðmundsson explains that when the University of Akureyri was founded just over 30 years ago, they looked up to UiT, as the universities had similar humble beginnings.

– Few believed we could have more than one university in Iceland, in a society of only 340 000 people. Especially that far north. Then we looked at what the other Nordic countries have done and saw that Norway had actually been able to successfully build an institute. 

Guðmundsson's hopes for the agreement are for more student exchange, both on bachelor and master’s level, and for increased online sharing of course resources. Akureyri has as of last year been granted the authority to have doctorate students, and he says they too will benefit from the agreement through the sharing of expertise in the universities' common fields, such as rural health, fisheries, and polar studies.

The Arctic, Guðmundsson explains, is the hottest topic. 

– People are realizing the impact global warming is having on the Arctic, and geopolitics are changing because of this. I believe the Nordic countries should work closer together in being a force and voice of reason in the discussion of Arctic issues. Hence, the importance of cooperation between universities, and using our scientific knowledge to assist in solving issues surrounding global warming and its impact on the Arctic.

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