The world’s northernmost higher education institution

For 30 years we have been educating the next Arctic experts. We offer high quality courses at the undergraduate, graduate and postgraduate level in Arctic Biology, Arctic Geology, Arctic Geophysics and Arctic Technology. The Arctic Safety Centre is a part of the UNIS structure, providing safety training and courses relating to Arctic safety.

UNIS at a glance

  • 743 students from 43 countries (2019)
  • 50 % Norwegian vs. international students
  • 12 full professors
  • 15 associate professors
  • 36 professor II
  • 160 guest lecturers specialized in arctic issues
  • 40 administrative staff
  • 4 scientific departments, 3 support departments and the Arctic Safety Centre


UNIS is a share-holding company, owned by the Norwegian Ministry of Education and Research. UNIS was established in 1993 to provide university level education in Arctic studies, to carry out high quality research, and to contribute to the development of Svalbard as an international research platform. UNIS’ geographical position gives it a unique advantage, enabling students and faculty to use nature as a laboratory, arena for observation and data collection. Through our activities, UNIS shall contribute to community development in Longyearbyen and Svalbard in line with the overarching objectives of Norwegian Svalbard policy.

Education and students

UNIS works closely with the mainland universities and the UNIS courses act as a supplement to the education offered at the universities on the mainland. UNIS has a joint collaboration agreement concerning research and education in Svalbard with nine universities on the Norwegian mainland, including:

  • UiT The Arctic University of Norway
  • The Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU)
  • University of Oslo (UiO)
  • University of Bergen (UiB)
  • The Norwegian University of Life Sciences (NMBU)
  • Nord University (Nord)
  • University of Stavanger (UiS)
  • University of Agder (UiS)
  • University of South-Eastern Norway (USN)

All courses are taught in English. There are no tuition fees and there is student accommodation in Elvesletta, 5 minutes from campus.

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