Arctic strategy of the University of Oulu

The Arctic area is changing. Climate change, globalization, digitalization, growing role of the service sector in the economy, demographic changes, migration and urbanization influence the development in the Arctic. These megatrends lead to challenges and threats, but also provide opportunities for people living in these regions.

The University of Oulu's Arctic Strategy will address the challenges and opportunites in the Arctic by creating a Sustainable Arctic Knowledge Society.

Arctic research at the University of Oulu

Arctic research at the University of Oulu is an integral part of its overall strategy and merges with each of its five focus areas. The objectives and actions presented in the Arctic strategy are also aligned with the Arctic strategies of Finland and the European Union. The strengths of the University of Oulu within this context stem from its northern location, disciplinary spectrum and well-integrated national and international research co-operation.

Towards a Sustainable Arctic Knowledge Society

The Arctic is tightly connected to the rest of the world. Our strategic focus is to build an Arctic which is sustainable in keeping the region as a homeland for its inhabitants, including Sàmi and the society resilient in the context of ecological, cultural, social, political and economic sustainability. For achieving it, the collaboration with industry, civil society and policy makers combined with transdisciplinary research and education enable the University of Oulu to address the growing interest in the resources of the Arctic and related economic opportunities in a sustainable way e.g., in tourism, fishing, forestry, energy production and mining.

At the centre of the strategy is the Sustainable Arctic Knowledge Society which can be achieved with education and research done together via exchange of knowledge with stakeholders such as business, state, civil society and environment.

Arctic strategy spearheads

  • Resilience and response ability - We are living in a shock-prone world that emphasizes the need for resilience and response ability of communities to adapt to a rapidly changing environment.
  • Environment and One Health - One Health is core for planetary health and wellbeing. Ultimately at stake is a common understanding of the interrelated and interdependent human and nature.
  • Natural resources and business - Governance on how to combine the views and goals of people, economic activities and public bodies located in the Arctic regions with those outside the Arctic will be developed.

For successful collaboration there is a need for mediating networks and cooperation, infrastructures and digitalization, and citizen science.

Values in Arctic research and education

All actions are guided by values in Arctic research and education: creating new, taking responsibility, and succeeding together. The co-creation of the activities with Sàmi and others living in the Arctic is the key priority for the socially sustainable and inclusive Arctic.

Actions are guided by values

Creating new - Excellence in Arctic research and education is built on an international community of diverse, engaged researchers and teams capable of working together with a multiplicity of methods and a variety of data in various Arctic locations.

Taking responsibility – The Arctic research-based education includes the active involvement of students to rethink our interrelatedness and interdependency and to act as global and local citizens.

Succeeding together - Open science and citizen science as well as over-generational researcher collaboration and diverse, equal and inclusive networks increase Arctic knowledge production and improve transparency and accessibility.

See also