Background Development Stages
At the Council of UArctic meeting in Bodø, Norway (June 2006), the Council asked UArctic to form an ad hoc task force with representatives from relevant programs and members, to produce a comprehensive plan for the development of UArctic programmatic activities in the Graduate Strategic Area (see UArctic Graduate Area - discussion paper 2006-07
Following a broad consultation process in various international fora and one workshop, at the annual Council meeting held in Arkhangelsk, Russia (June 2007), the task force presented Draft Guidelines
for the establishment and operation of a UArctic Master Program.2008
At the start of the year, the University of Lapland (UoL) and the University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF) were selected to co-lead UArctic’s Graduate Studies strategic area, and in February an official Memorandum of Understanding was signed to underline the commitment between the institutions and UArctic.
At their meeting in Edmonton, Canada, the Council of the UArctic approved the proposal presented by UArctic's Graduate Studies Leads, to endore the nine guiding principles outlined in the Banff Principles on Graduate Education
. These principles were produced during a Strategic Leaders Global Summit on Graduate Education, by representative from the Council of Graduate Schools (USA); the European University Association; the Canadian Association for Graduate Studies; the Deans and Directors of Graduate Studies (Australia); and The Association of Chinese Graduate Schools.
By endorsing the Banff Principles, the Leads of UArctic's Graduate Studies
obtained access to valuable information behind these principles, enabling them to assess the suitability of suggested best practices from a UArctic perspective. Subsequently, an operational framework for a UArctic Master's Endorsement Policy was developed, and a broad consultation process with UArctic member institutions and individual UArctic Thematic Networks began.
At the annual Council meeting in Kiruna, Sweden, a Master's Studies development seminar was held, the main purpose of which was to present a preliminary draft of the Master’s Endorsement Policy, and to generate discussion on specific areas of the policy and on practical details of its implementation by member institutions. Sunsequently, a final draft of the guidelines, conditions and requirements for UArctic Master’s Endorsement was produced, and reviewed by UArctic’s Academic Quality Committee, Indigenous Issues Committees, and UArctic's Senior Management Team (Ma-Mawi). 2010
Following the testing of UArctic Mater's Endorsement guidelines by various member institutions in early 2010, at their meeting in Yakutsk, Russia, the Council accepted UArctic’s Master’s Endorsement guidelines and requested that the Lead of the Master’s Studies program proceed with plans to officially launch the policy in August, 2010.