Training Specialists to Achieve Growth in the Region
Arctic exploration requires solving ambitious tasks
“There is a very ambitious task for us: by 2024, 80 million tons must go through the Northern Sea Route, while by 2017 we have only reached 9.9 tons, which means a significant increase in cargo traffic. How can this be done? By increasing the number of vessels. Accordingly, there’s a need for crews and whatever provides for the fleet operation <…> We also need to develop the ports, and thus, 512 billion roubles are planned to be allocated to develop port infrastructure by 2024. It means our tasks are truly ambitious,” Sergey Baryshnikov, Rector, Admiral Makarov State University of Maritime and Inland Shipping.
“It goes without saying that today we face global challenges and trends: it is a change in the management model in business and in public administration; it is a change in consumer preference; it is greener lifestyles and manufacturing processes; it is globalization of processes happening in the world,” Elena Kudryashova, Rector, Lomonosov Northern (Arctic) Federal University (NArFU).
Training play a major role in the Arctic exploration
“The Arctic is a very rich region. Over hundreds of years, we see that the Arctic is a major raw material supplier, and unfortunately those raw materials don’t stay in northern regions – they go to the southern ones. In order to properly develop the region, we need specialists and we need a sustainable education system. Of course, when it comes to educating and training teachers, healthcare and culture professionals, it is universities that play a major role,” Anne Husebekk Rector, UiT – The Arctic University of Norway.
“We developed a whole number of training courses on the problems and resources exploration of the Arctic. I would like to point out our course in the Arctic Law that helps our students get in-depth knowledge in legal framework of countries’ economic activity in the Arctic region,” Valery Salygin, Director, International Energy Policy and Diplomacy Institute of Moscow State Institute of International Relations under the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia (MIEP MGIMO).
Training programmes for Arctic specialists should be interdisciplinary
“Any research in the Arctic and training Arctic researchers should, of course, be interdisciplinary, because that time is long gone, when single-discipline specialists could resolve problems without comprehensive knowledge about the region, where they work,” Sergey Aplonov, Director, Arctic Research Centre, St. Petersburg State University.
“The Arctic is a special region, and of course, those communities that live in the Arctic need the same competencies that are needed by other communities as well. Besides, we need to understand climate features and the challenges that arise due to the climate. The Arctic means colossal distances and special requirements to infrastructure <…> To help the Arctic successfully develop, we need to introduce special Arctic-related training programmes on all levels and for all disciplines,” Lars Kullerud, President, University of the Arctic (UArctic).
Brain drain in the Arctic region
“We need to review the approaches that existed before. Today, there is still a brain drain from the Far East and the northern regions. Young people are looking for better places for them to live after they graduate; they settle in better places,” Aleksandr Akimov, Chairman of the Council for the Arctic and Antarctic at the Council of Federation of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation; Deputy Chair, Federation Council Committee on Federal Structure, Regional Policy, Local Government, and Affairs of the North.
“Unfortunately, education is not available to everyone. That is why in order to get higher vocational training people have to relocate to other regions, and many of them never come back,” Jouko Niinimaki, Rector, University of Oulu.
Education can’t keep up with job market’s needs
“The Arctic is such a region where overstaffing happens fast. You just start training specialists in a certain field, and soon they are not needed anymore. <…> It takes 5–6 years to get a license and accreditation <…> We need a certain plan of what specialists will be on demand in 5 years, in 6 years, in 10 years,” Anatoly Nikolaev, Vice Rector for Natural and Technical Areas of Focus, Ammosov North-Eastern Federal University.
Lack of Arctic research projects
“It is impossible to complete a task singlehandedly, by the efforts of a single university <…> The Eastern Arctic is underexplored, and it does not have all that many projects,” Kirill Golokhvast, Provost for Research, Far Eastern Federal University (FEFU).
Developing digital education
“The Arctic needs to be digitalized, i.e. it needs to have Internet to ensure a high quality of life in these regions and to create some sort of a virtual university that would be able to offer education to everyone,” Jouko Niinimaki, Rector, University of Oulu.
Introducing latest training methods
“How does interaction with students work to help them get absolutely new competencies? We create a scientific and technological infrastructure where students work on start-ups, a centre for innovative practices and social technologies, and a student business incubator where projects commissioned by manufacturing facilities get developed,” Andrey Sergeev, Rector, Murmansk Arctic State University.
Vocational training for specialists based on the region’s and business’s needs
“If we talk about the support needed by the largest investment projects that are being or planned to be implemented in the Arctic, staffing is paramount <…> If our universities and secondary-level vocational training facilities deliver specialists of appropriate level, no investor would spend money on creating a corporate university. The mere fact that corporate universities are open here is partially a sign that our education system does not meet the demand of large investors,” Vladimir Solodov, Chairman of the Government of Sakha Republic (Yakutia).
“Most residents of Russia’s southern areas imagine that the Arctic is an ice desert where only indigenous people and heroic polar explorers can live, and maybe oil workers in extreme cases <…> We need social research in the Arctic, and we need to get its results both to those specialists that will work in the Arctic and to the general public as well,” Nikolay Vakhtin, Professor, Head of the Center for Arctic Social Studies, European University at St. Petersburg.