The point of departure for this project is an aspiration to strengthen our educational programs both by encouraging students of differing backgrounds to move between countries and programs of study, and by bringing teachers together in order to discuss and take part in different programs and jointly develop further programs of study.
Needless to say, these activities are important for programs having their focus on indigenous peoples and for programs in development at both universities. Projects related to programs of study will serve a second purpose as well, inasmuch as a grant through SIU will make it possible to establish academic networks through which to initiate new research projects.
The interplay between education and research will vary, however. Our thought is that the activities related to education will form a point of departure, and will serve as a vehicle for developing research projects.
Later on, we believe that research funding can finance cooperation and also serve educational purposes by involving students in collaborative research projects and by using outcomes from research to develop and strengthen programs of study. An important outcome of the conferences will thus be opportunities for developing and seeking funding for various projects involving both professors and graduate students (particularly PhD-students).
The Sami Research Program of the Norwegian Research Council is an example of a program fitting well with such goals, but as the overall theme of the project is multiculturalism we will be seeking funding from other programs touching upon indigenous peoples and multicultural issues.
The project is funded by The Norwegian Centre for International Cooperation in Higher Education (SIU) – and is a part of The North America Strategy for higher education 2008-2011
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