Barents Plus – the regional scholarship program for institutions of higher education in the Norwegian and Russian Barents

1. Background

The Barents regional cooperation was founded in January 11th, 1993 after the Kirkenes Declaration was signed during the Barents Euro-Arctic conference by the ministers of foreign affairs and representatives of Denmark, Finland, Norway, Iceland, the Russian Federation, and Sweden. Development of competence in the region became one of the focus areas of the Barents cooperation. Barents Plus program was initiated as one of the projects reflecting this focus and contributing to closer connections between institutions of higher education in the Barents.

The Barents Plus program is active in the following parts of Norway and Russia: Nordland county, Troms and Finnmark County (Norway), Arkhangelsk and Murmansk Oblast, Nenets Autonomous County, Komi Republic, and Republic of Karelia (Russia).

2. Aim

The Barents Plus program should stimulate the formation and maintenance of educational and research related cooperation between universities and university colleges in Norwegian and Russian parts of the Barents region. Through the exchange of teachers and students the program will contribute to better cultural understanding, mutual increased competence, and more institutional and personal contacts across the border.

3. Exchange program

Barents Plus is the exchange program for students, teachers and administrative staff at the higher education sector in the Barents region. The concept of exchange implies that activities are based on the principle of reciprocity. Funding of the Norwegian-Russian cooperation in the sphere of higher education counts 1 million NOK for the spring term 2020. About 0.9 million NOK of this sum is being given as scholarships and grants for projects, initiated by the member institutions. The rest of the sum covers administration and promotion of the program. UiT The Arctic university of Norway is responsible to administrate the program after the former project responsible entity, Finnmark University College, merged with University of Tromso on August, 1st 2014.

4. Who can apply?

Norwegian and Russian higher education institutions, who are situated and operating in the Barents region, can apply for partial funding of activities with their partners through the Barents Plus program. A valid cooperation agreement between the institutions is an important preconditions for teacher and student exchanges. The receiving institution must have an academically appropriate plan for incoming teachers and students, and a well functioning system for reception, accommodation and the study process. at the institution.

Institutions are granted a number of scholarships each year, which can be allocated according to institutional own preferences. It is desirable that new students get the chance of going on exchange rather than one and the same student gets the scholarship several times. The Barents Plus office will nevertheless strive for an even geographical distribution of funds.

5. Application

Institutions submit one application form through the respective Barents plus contact person. The attachements required together with the main Application are  application forms from teachers, students and project descriptions for other types of activities. One cannot apply for funding of activities that already have taken place. In the main application form it is possible to list the activities in the prioritized order, which means that the most important exchange/project is put in the first place.

6. Types of funding

6.1 Incoming Russian Students to Norway

NOK 7 000,- per month. Students from Arkhangelsk, Petrozavodsk, Syktyvkar and Ukhta are entitled to additional travel grant of NOK 5 000,-.

6.2  Outgoing Norwegian Students to Russia

Students who are eligible for loan/scholarship from the State Education Loan Fund (Lånekassen):

NOK 4 000,- per month

Students who are not funded by the State Educational Loan Fund (Lånekassen)

NOK 6 000,- per month

Students going on exchange to Arkhangelsk, Petrozavodsk, Syktyvkar and Ukhta are entitled to additional travel grant of NOK 5 000,-.

6.3 Travel expenditures to summer schools in Russia:

1-2 weeks
8 000,-

6.4 Russian Teachers to Norway

1 week 2 weeks 3 weeks 4 weeks
10 000,- 12 500,- 15 000,- 17 500,-

6.5 Norwegian Teachers to Russia

1 week 2 weeks 3 weeks
8 000,- 10 500,- 13 000,-

 7. Preparatory visits

At the initial stage of cooperation institutions can get funding for preparatory visits to partner institution(s) when the purpose of the visit is to work on an agreement about academic activities including mobility. The scholarship rate for staff participating in such a visit corresponds to the rate of scholarship for teachers. Barents Plus program can support exchanges of administrative staff  provided the applicants have and submit a concrete plan on how these visits can contribute to interinstitutional cooperation and exchanges.

8. Language courses

 Barents Plus partner institutions can apply for support of the following language courses:

– Norwegian language course for Russian students/teachers in Russia or Norway

– Russian language course for Norwegian students/teachers in Russia or Norway

– Sami language course for Russian students in Norway

Participation in the language courses should be free of charge and available for all interested students/teachers. Barents Plus program supports language courses with grants up to 15 000 NOK.

9. Deadlines

Appplication dealine for co-funding of activities planned in autumn semester is April 15.

Deadline to report on activities held in autumn semester is  November 20.

Appplication dealine for co-funding of activities planned in spring semester is October 15.

Deadline to report on activities held in autumn semester is  August 1.

11. Reporting and payment

After each academic term, the institutions have to report on the use of the grants. Grant receivers should use the report form, which can be found under «Apply and Report» button in the main menu on this website. Reporting and payment procedures are specified in the contracts institutions receive together with the letter of allocation..

For more detailed information please go to «Guidelines» in the main menu or contact project manager Natalia Kononova:


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