Building upon the success of last year’s pilot of the introductory course of the Bachelor of Circumpolar Studies program, the University of the Arctic (UArctic) has begun both web-based and classroom delivery of Contemporary Issues in the Circumpolar World. A recap from the UArctic news release provides details:
Twenty-five students at eight sites around the circumpolar North are now enrolled in the online version of the course. Additionally, a second group of 15 students is taking the course in a traditional classroom setting at the University of Northern British Columbia, in Prince George. A second course in the Contemporary Issues unit will be piloted online later in this academic year.
The curriculum of these courses provides an opportunity for students to get a solid understanding of the most important challenges – and opportunities – facing the region today. The focus is on contemporary issues of sustainability, such as personal and community well-being, health and health care, political development, tourism, sustainable wildlife management, land claims, and indigenous rights. The modules in the courses also address key environmental issues, cultural diversity, women and gender relations, and economic diversification.
These courses bring together students from all across the circumpolar region, who share can share different perspectives on issues they face in common. Bringing together such diverse and distant institutions paves the way for new linkages between northern communities across the globe and future international collaboration on Arctic issues.
Athabasca University is providing online access to students in the course through UArctic’s Arctic Learning Environment (ALE) portal. Funding for the online pilot, which will develop the delivery model for all later BCS courses, is being provided by the Nordic Council of Ministers. The government of Canada has supported the development of the curriculum of the core courses of the Bachelor of Circumpolar Studies.
The eight institutions participating in the pilot are University of Greenland, Nuuk, Greenland; BodÃ¸ Regional University, BodÃ¸, Norway; Yukon College, Whitehorse; Aurora College, Fort Smith; Yakutsk State University, Yakutsk, Russia; University of Alaska Fairbanks, Fairbanks, Alaska; the University of Northern British Columbia, Prince George; and the University of the Highlands and Islands, Scotland.
The Bachelor of Circumpolar Studies is a comprehensive curriculum program that provides a solid understanding of northern issues with a circumpolar perspective, an integrative approach that includes social and natural sciences, and local knowledge, and at the same time reaches a broad base of students.
The University of the Arctic aims to promote cultural diversity, language plurality, and gender equality while highlighting the partnership between the region’s indigenous peoples and other northerners. UArctic is also focusing on the sharing of knowledge and history, as well as provide for quality discussion on contemporary issues related to the circumpolar North.
For information: http://www.uarctic.org