UiT The Arctic University of Norway is one of Norway’s four full-range universities (together with the University of Oslo, University of Bergen and NTNU Norwegian University of Science and Technology). The Norwegian parliament adopted UiT in 1968, and the first students were admitted in 1972, with the express aim of contributing to comprehensively sustainable society in Northern Norway providing human capital and contributing to societal development. UiT has around 17,000 students and around 3,500 staff with an annual budget of around 4,5 billion NOK. It is one of the largest employers of Northern Norway with main campus in Tromsø and campuses throughout Northern Norway to Kirkenes on the Norwegian-Russian border. UiT has contributed and continues to contribute to North Norwegian society, international Arctic research, and Norwegian Arctic domestic and foreign policy.
UiT and science diplomacy:
UiT and other institutions in Tromsø as the Norwegian Polar Institute, UNN-The University Hospital of Northern Norway, the Fram Center, the Arctic Frontiers Conference, the Arctic Council Secretariat, the Arctic Indigenous Peoples’ Secretariat, Akvaplan-niva, and others are key actors in Circumpolar Arctic (and to some extent Antarctic) science diplomacy. Norway and Russia share a 176 km land border and thousands of nautical miles maritime border in the Barents Sea. The Norwegian-Russian border is one of Europe’s oldest unchanged landborders with no military conflict since early medieval time (but heavy fighting between German occupation and USSR during WWII). Northern-Norway and Northwest Russia have traded for centuries (interrupted 1917-1991). After the Cold War, Norway invested significantly in Barents cooperation people-to-people, including higher education and research. This cooperation is largely suspended since the Russian 2022 invasion of Ukraine except in fisheries management, nuclear safety and natural resources.