Top image: The first continuing education course lectures at UNIS earlier this week. Photo: Eva Therese Jenssen/UNIS.
The Arctic Safety Centre pilot course with 25 places was already fully booked within two days after it was announced. With 50 applicants for the course, it indicates that UNIS has a potential for this type of course in the future.
13 November 2020
Text: Eva Therese Jenssen
The course connects practice to theory and was aimed at residents in Longyearbyen. It contains, among other things, safety and organizational theory, risk assessment and contingency planning, reporting systems and accident investigation.
The course is organized with six lecture days in November and then a written home exam in mid-January. The course yields 7,5 ECTS credits.
Experience sharing takes place through discussions and problem solving in groups. Course leader Eirik Albrechtsen (NTNU and UNIS), said at the start of the course that it is a great added value for learning outcomes that the central organizations and business actors in the city share their experience-based knowledge.
“This type of course helps to increase the usefulness of the Arctic Safety Centre in Longyearbyen and will help us to be able to handle known and unknown unforeseen dangers in a more robust way”, says UNIS director Jøran Moen.
This means a lot for the safe and sustainable development of the Longyearbyen community in a time of major climate change, according to Martin Indreiten, acting head of the Arctic Safety Centre (ASC).
“Due to the popularity of the course, UNIS and ASC are considering setting up a similar course in February 2021, but so far we are waiting a bit considering the COVID-19 situation and clarifications about the spring semester at UNIS. But there is a good chance that there will be a second course so that we can meet the local demand”, says Indreiten.
Highly motivated students
“The course seems to hit the target group well. The nice thing about continuing education courses is that there are highly motivated students with a lot of experience from different industries who participate. This means that there is a completely different dynamic in the lectures where the students are active and share experiences and you get concrete examples of theory and practice. My impression halfway through the course is that it seems to meet the expectations and intentions of arranging such a course”, Indreiten says.
ASC has sketches for other courses that can be developed under the continuing education umbrella. Practical risk management related to human activity that must take place in a context where natural hazards and climatic conditions are constantly changing and may have different focus areas. Today’s courses focus on personal and operational safety and emergency preparedness, but also social security and emergency preparedness can be examples of topics that can be developed into separate courses. Here one also envisions target groups outside Longyearbyen may find interest in taking this type of continuing education course, according to Indreiten.
“A natural part of the implementation of this first course will be to listen to the feedback from the participants to further develop existing courses and get ideas about other topics in the field that can be developed into new courses”, Martin Indreiten concludes.
Arctic Safety Centre at UNIS