What makes Barents Plus program different from other funding mechanisms available for the Norwegian-Russian partnerships across the border?
Program coordinators from 14 universities and university colleges in Russia and Norway met under International Staff Week in Tromsø in November 2015 to discuss the future of the Barents Plus project and challenges for cooperation within higher education in the Barents region. What makes Barents Plus program different from other funding mechanisms available for the Norwegian-Russian partnerships across the border? How to organize networking in the time when mergers lead to fewer but bigger institutions with numerous campuses? How to promote programs at small campuses and ensure geographical balance in mobility? Many questions were raised when coordinators finally met face to face in Tromsø, some of them for the first time due to their being new to the program.
Statistics for student- and teacher mobility during the last three years were presented and showed that there is still need to work hard to motivate Norwegian students to study in Russia. During workshops coordinators from both countries discussed measures to increase incoming mobility to Russia.
Both Norwegian and Russian universities expressed satisfaction with the way the project was administered today. It was focused on the absence of time-consuming procedures when applying for grants and reporting them to the Barents Plus office.
Barents Plus coordinators agreed to meet for a new workshop next year, this time at one of the partner universities in Russia.