Joint Higher Education on Northern Tourism

Joint Higher Education on Northern Tourism

This project ran from 2015-2019 and was funded by DIKU- Norwegian Agency for International Cooperation and Quality Enhancement in Higher Education (Previously known as SIU). Specifially, it was part of DIKU/SIU's High North Programme. The purpose of the project was to explore the development of joint higher education on northern tourism, in order to address the need for education based on multidisciplinary research on the challenges facing the Arctic region.

The project focused on joint higher education on northern tourism and was based in a collaborative process involving tourism scholars and institutions from Norway, Canada, Finland, Sweden, and Iceland.

UiT The Arctic University of Norway and Cape Breton University in Canada were lead partners and together with other networking partner universities in the Arctic, they worked to address the practicalities related to establishing a joint higher education in northern tourism, and to implement joint education activities in preparation for a joint master’s degree on northern tourism initiative.

Addressing the need for education based on multidisciplinary research on challenges facing Arctic regions, this project has brought together leading tourism scholars from Arctic areas (supported as
the Thematic Network on Northern Tourism in the context of University of the Arctic.) The project
has consisted of close collaboration between UiT The Arctic University of Norway and Cape Breton University, Canada. Together with partner universities in the Arctic (University of Lapland, University
of Oulu, University of Umeå, University of Iceland), the network has addressed practicalities related to establishing a joint master degree. Next, two on-line courses, a field course, and collaborative thesis supervision model has been piloted during the project.

The three piloted courses (the online courses and the field course), have continued to be successfully delivered after the piloting phase, involving students and instructors and examiners from multiple partner institutions. Certificates of completion have been sent out to students who have completed all the three collaborative masters courses. Furthermore, a University of Lapland Masters programme has been launched with the three modules as the core, and the project partners loosely all teach into it. Also, University of Iceland now offers a specialisation in MS studies in Tourism Arctic Tourism, where the two online courses developed form the core as compulsory courses, and the field course is recommended as an elective course.

There has been mobility of students between Norway and Canada (in addition to between the other participating institutions) as part of the joint teaching and supervision. Collaborative thesis supervision options have emerged as part of the project. In addition, links to private and public sector are to be built in the educational activities.

Moving forward

During the project, theoretical and applied knowledge has been produced on sustainable tourism development and the tourist experience in northern environments. The project activities has brought together scholars from across institutions and national contexts, incorporating and strengthening knowledge and perspectives from the circumpolar world into new collaborative initiatives.

Based in meetings among the partners, the project Partnership for Sustainability: Arctic Tourism in Times of Change was developed, focusing specifically on sustainability of Arctic tourism. The project was funded from the Nordic Council of Ministers' Arctic Co-operation Programme 2018-2021, and consists of three sub-projects:

While the SIU/DIKU-funded project Joint Higher Education on Northern Tourism has been completed, the international network of scholars continue to expand our understanding of tourism issues with particular relevance for current challenges and future needs. Visit the UArctic Thematic Network on Northern Tourism web page for an updated overview of activities.


Leading institutions

UiT The Arctic University of Norway

Cape Breton University

Partner institutions

University of Iceland

University of Lapland

University of Oulu

University of Umeå

Vancouver Island University

Page administrator: Kvidal-Røvik, Trine
Last updated: 29.12.2021 16:13