Environment & Sustainability News
University of the Arctic
Royal Roads University is a full member of the University of the Arctic (UArctic). Benefits of membership for Royal Roads and particularly for the School of Environment and Sustainability include partnership with an academic consortium with a broad global reach and a growing international reputation and credibility.
There are now 130 (approximately 30 are from Canada) full members of the University of the Arctic from Universities and colleges across the 8 circumpolar Arctic states. Networking opportunities for faculty include opportunities for collaborative research and funding, primarily through the thematic networks and advanced emphases as well as the Northern Forum, the PhD course and the Bachelors of Circumpolar Studies. There are also networking opportunities with UArctic partners including indigenous organizations, the Arctic Council and Arctic Council permanent participants, the UN Environment Program, the International Arctic Social Sciences Association, the Arctic Research Consortium of the US (ARCUS) and others.
Although Canada is an Arctic nation, it is perhaps surprising that RRU Faculty members have such diverse research interests and participation in Arctic research, including coastal issues, emergency management and planning, sustainability and resilience of Arctic communities, housing, heavy metal pollution, Arctic human development, social indicators of quality of life of Arctic residents, and impacts, responses, resilience and adaptation to rapid environmental change. UArctic membership brings opportunities to collaborate with researchers and research groups in the 130 member academic institutions.
We have a shared interest in Indigenous education and the UArctic provides opportunities for faculty and students to learn about innovative practices in indigenous education and to attract indigenous students from member organizations in Canada and other circumpolar universities and organizations. At the UArctic council meeting members expressed interest in Sŋēq’waʔ ʔe’ləŋ, our Indigenous House of Learning, and our Indigenous Education and Student Services Manager Asma-na-hi Antoine (Asmanahi.Antoine@RoyalRoads.ca) who in turn is very enthusiastic about participating and involving students in UArctic indigenous activities.
UArctic is a virtual university and offers its educational programs online through its member institutions. RRU can share and benefit from experiments in innovative learning technologies. There are also emerging open learning programs through the University of the Arctic.
Partnerships with other UArctic member institutions
Some partners, particularly in Russia, that RRU has been developing are also members of the UArctic and membership in the UArctic will enable us to selectively expand mutually beneficial partnerships.
Participation in University of the Arctic Thematic Networks and Programs
RRU and School faculty would be welcome to participate in a number of Thematic Networks including Global Change, Arctic Coastal and Marine Issues, Distance Education and e-Learning, Tourism, Governance, Energy, and Natural Hazards
Mobility: The UArctic has developed mobility programs for students, faculty and researchers including the North to North student exchange program. RRU Faculty and students could participate in these mobility programs.
Recruitment of students
Marketing and recruitment of students through the UArctic membership should be one of the greatest benefits of membership in the UARctic. Our Canadian Centre for Environmental Education programs in Environmental Practice, as well as other online RRU programs, should be able to attract students from member institutions and there will also be opportunities for faculty to teach UArctic courses and participate in Undergraduate through graduate UArctic programs.
Other opportunities include marketing, listing of RRU courses in the UArctic catalogue, participation of President Allan Cahoon in the UArctic Rectors Forum, opportunities for Doctor of Social Sciences students to join the travelling PhD Network summer course and the UArctic Field School, and for undergraduates and faculty to participate in, offer courses or take courses in the UArctic Bachelors of Circumpolar Studies. As a small University, in an Arctic Nation, we should be able to benefit greatly from networking opportunities to foster joint ventures in areas of mutual Arctic and Northern interest. RRU will benefit from the global reach of the University of the Arctic in terms of promotion, student recruitment and reputation.