Gender equality, polar medicine, interdisciplinary research and collaboration with indigenous peoples, according to the UArctic Student-Ambassadors, are the key to Arctic development. Their proposals, which are to be included in the final UArctic Congress Declaration 2016, were discussed at the joint session of the Student Forum and Rector Forum at St Petersburg University. 

“We need the academic mobility programmes, especially in medicine, which gained support from the UArctic, Nordic governments, and industries, – said the Ambassador of the Memorial University of Newfoundland, Canada,  Zakari Ensti. – This will enable us to cope with the problems in healthcare and to foster changes in the sector”.

To take action, according to the students, is vital. “We needn’t be afraid to be actively engaged into the politics.  Just as to have your say and be heard is also very important, so to put our ideas into effect is of great significance and value”, – said Frederick Engel from the University of Tromsø, Norway.

For Arctic development, as young scientists believe, it is essential to create an atmosphere where everyone, regardless of sex, age, nationality, feels comfortable to make contribution. For that reason, we should build up an extensive network between scientific community, universities, indigenous peoples, and governments.  Today, there is a poor awareness in the global community as to what has been happening in the Arctic, what problems people who work and live there have been facing. The main concern of the UArtic’s Ambassadors is therefore to spread information about what the commitments of the University of Arctic are and what is specific to nature, industry and geography of the Extreme North. Interdisciplinary research, international research projects and non-government organisations will have a positive effect therefore in popularising the Arctic.

Normally, the Ambassadors of the University of Arctic are the students, ranging from undergraduate to post-graduate students, who are also up-and-coming researchers in various spheres. This year, the UArctic Congress Student Forum was represented by young scientists, among which are indigenous peoples, from Russia, Sweden, Norway, Finland, Denmark, USA, and Japan.

The University of the Arctic (UArctic) is a cooperative network of 180 universities, colleges, research institutes and other organisations from 16 countries concerned with education and research in and about the North. UArctic builds and strengthens collective resources and collaborative infrastructure that enables member institutions to better serve their constituents and their regions. Through cooperation in education, research and outreach we enhance human capacity in the North, promote viable communities and sustainable economies, and forge global partnerships.