UNIS strengthens cooperation with Norwegian universities

UNIS strengthens cooperation with Norwegian universities

Top image: Representatives from the seven mainland universities, UNIS and Minister of Research and Higher Education Tora Aasland at the signing ceremony for the new cooperation agreement. From left: Dean Lise Øverås (U. of Bergen); deputy rector Berit Kjeldstad (NTNU); deputy rector Doris Jorde (U. of Oslo); rector Hans Fredrik Hoen (UMB); rector Pål Pedersen (U. of Nordland); university director Lasse Lønnum (U. of Tromsø); and rector Marit Boyesen (U. of Stavanger). In front: UNIS director Gunnar Sand, Minister Tora Aasland og chairman of the UNIS board Tore Vorren (U. of Tromsø). Photo: Eva Therese Jenssen/UNIS. 

Today UNIS signed a new cooperation agreement with seven of the Norwegian mainland universities. Tora Aasland, the Minister of Research and Higher Education, was also present. – UNIS plays an important role for the mainland universities and Norway as a whole, said Minister Aasland.

19 September 2011
Text and photos: Eva Therese Jenssen

– This agreement will continue and strengthen the positive cooperation on education and research on Svalbard which benefits the local society, the students and our partners at the mainland, said UNIS director Gunnar Sand.

When UNIS was established back in 1993, a cooperation agreement was signed with the four traditional universities in Norway. However, over the past 18 years a lot of things have changed, but the agreement was never revised to reflect these changes.

There are now eight universities in Norway and earlier this year UNIS initiated a process of revising the old agreement to reflect the changes and also invite the new universities to become formal partners.

Today the new cooperation agreement was signed by UNIS and the following Norwegian universities: The Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) in Trondheim, the Norwegian University of Life Sciences (UMB) in Ås, and the universities in Tromsø, Nordland (Bodø), Bergen, Stavanger and Oslo.

The Minister of Research and Higher Education, Tora Aasland, was also present at the signing.

Aim: To become leading institutions in international polar research
– UNIS plays an important role for Norway, as it is our extended arm into the Arctic, minister Aasland said in her speech before the signing ceremony.

– It is important that the mainland universities have an active connection to UNIS and vice versa. I experience the cooperation between UNIS and the mainland universities as well functioning and this cooperation will now be developed to be even better, the minister said.

The agreement states that through effective division of labour and concentrated resource efforts, the cooperation partners will develop stronger education- and research environments within higher education in the Arctic than they would have managed on their own.

– The partners shall utilize the combination of the universities’ scientific forces and the advantage of UNIS being located in Svalbard, to become leading institutions in international polar research, said UNIS director Gunnar Sand.

Gunnar Sand, Tora Aasland, Tore Vorren

UNIS director Gunnar Sand (left) signs the new cooperation agreement, with Education and Research Minister Tora Aasland and Tore Vorren, chairman of the UNIS board, present. Photo: Eva Therese Jenssen/UNIS.

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