What a lovely four days in Akureyri, Iceland: networking, new ideas and new aspects! The UArctic Students' Forum has now been running yearly as a subforum to the UArctic Rectors' Forum. Oulu University of Applied Sciences took part in the Students' Forum for the first time this year, and I got to be the lucky one to take part in it and to act as a UArctic pioneer for my institution!
The aim of the forum is to discuss and share good practices between the students and the rectors of the UArctic institutions in order to make the Arctic universities even better places to study. This year, in 2014, the theme of both of the forums was flexible learning, gender equality and health.
There were 19 of us students from a total of seven different countries taking part in the Students' Forum. We were from Finland, Sweden, Norway, Iceland, England, Canada, USA and Japan. The students taking part in the Forum were mainly graduate students, which I think was a good thing, because that way all of us had a good background experience in what it's like to study in our home institutions and to have a good conversation about the subject. Us students had lectures and did group work on the theme of the forum before we concluded our declaration about flexibility, gender equality and health and presented it to the rectors.
What I think could be brought back and applied to Oulu University of Applied Sciences, are discussions between the student and the lecturer and advancing e-learning. From what I saw, the University of Akureyri is a perfect example of how to conduct e-learning and distance learning and to make it an everyday tool for higher education learning. We should have courage to try new teaching and learning methods and us students should actively give feedback and that way become an integral part of developing the courses.
I encourage everyone to apply and have a look at the UArctic studies and to go and do your exchange in the Arctic!
Asta Ojala, Oulu University of Applied Sciences