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Published: 2023-06-07 Updated: 2023-11-14, 13:12

The Arctic Centre attends the UArctic Assembly in Quebec

NEWS Arctic Centre employees Anngelica Kristoferqvist, Keith Larson, and Lena Maria Nilsson attended the UArctic Assembly in Quebec, Canada, 22–26 May 2023.

In May 2023, the University of the Arctic (UArctic) had their annual UArctic Assembly meeting in Quebec, Canada. Three of the Arctic Centre’s employees were there to both represent Umeå University at the Assembly and make new connections. The three participants from the Arctic Centre were Anngelica Kristoferqvist, Educations Project Coordinator, Keith Larson, Director of the Arctic Centre, and Lena Maria Nilsson, Research Project Coordinator.

Meetings, new agreements, workshops, and a 25-year anniversary gala dinner on the agenda

Lena Maria Nilsson describes that the week began with pre-meetings. One of those were about the ICARP process (the International Conference of Arctic Research Planning). In brief, ICARP IV will consider the most urgent knowledge gaps, Arctic research priorities and needs for the next decade.

– Knowledge about this process is important to bring back to Umeå to avoid knowledge gaps from a Swedish Arctic perspective. Perspectives on research and education differs in different parts of the Arctic, which was clear during the discussions, Nilsson concludes.

The Assembly was performed Wednesday to Friday, and included welcoming new members, deciding upon new Thematic Networks, and changing the bylaws.

– In the future, it will be possible to attend the Assembly online, which is a great assurance for future global situations where long distance travelling must be avoided, Nilsson adds.

In addition, a new cooperation agreement between Umeå University and the UArctic was signed by Lars Kullerud, President of the UArctic and Keith Larsson, Umeå University representative. The cooperation agreement states that UArctic and Umeå University will work together to ensure Umeå University’s leadership of the UArctic Thematic Network “Research Analytics and Bibliometrics” and UArctic research analytics activities.

For Anngelica Kristoferqvist, the week included other events, since she did not attend the Assembly. As a Coordinator for Arctic Education at Umeå University, her goal was to learn more about The Læra Institute for Circumpolar Education, UArctic's mobility program North2north, and to network within the area of Arctic education. She attended workshops on collaboration, Arctic education development, and funding opportunities. For example, the governments in Norway, Denmark, and Canada are now offering funding for projects under the UArctic umbrella, mainly for the thematic networks, but also for more general education collaboration initiatives.

– At the workshops it became clear that many representatives from other countries are interested in what we, together at UArctic or individually, can do to engage our governments in this funding program, Kristoferqvist shares.

The afternoon social events included a scenic boat-trip, a visit to Musée De La Civilisation, where the colonisation history of Quebec was told, and a gala dinner. During the gala dinner, UArctic’s 25 years as an organisation was celebrated.

An intense and rewarding week

When asked about how the week was, Nilsson describes it as intense and interesting. She mentions that it is good to be updated on the plans of UArctic, and that she met many interesting key persons from different universities all over, and outside of, the Arctic.

– I feel inspired to encourage further collaborations between the Arctic Centre’s associated researchers and the Thematic Networks of UArctic.

Kristoferqvist agrees and adds that it was very rewarding. She met with many different people interested in collaborating with Umeå University, for example the Læra Institute, and representatives from different universities in Europe.

– There are new possibilities to strengthen our internationalism, provide high quality education in collaboration with other Arctic universities, and attract more students to our own university in terms of e.g., mobility programs and online education marketing, Kristoferqvist says.

More information

UArctic Assembly

The annual UArctic Assembly oversees the development and direction of the organization. Umeå University is an Arctic member institute, and Director of the Arctic Centre, Keith Larson, is the Umeå University representative. UArctic Assembly also serve as a forum for consultation, networking, and cooperation between the members.

University of the Arctic (UArctic)

UArctic is a network of more than 200 member universities and Institutes, some Arctic and some non-Arctic. To the UArctic webpage

Thematic Networks

The UArctic Thematic Networks are independent and thematically focused networks of experts in specific areas of northern relevance. A Thematic Network may focus its activities on one or several of the following: research cooperation, knowledge sharing, curriculum development, or forming the basis for larger project development. To the UArctic Thematic Networks

The Arctic Centre at Umeå University have created a mirrored version of the thematic networks. As an associated researcher to the Arctic Centre, you will be featured within that network on our website. This is an easy way for researchers to find each other and collaborate. To Arctic Centre’s Thematic Network list