The Barents Cross Border University network represents Universities in Northern Finland and Northwest Russia across the border line, which covers 1269 km of the Finland’s and EU’s border with Russia. Planning of the cooperation was launched in 2006 based on the mutual interests of the partner universities as well as in principles and aims of the partnership programs and the EU's Northern Dimension policy. BCBU+ project comes out of this long term co-operation between partners, who are involved in Barents Cross Border University project (BCBU). There are altogether four Master’s Degree Programmes as part of the Barents Cross Border University Project.
The realities of globalization and the rise of information technology has meant that the market economy, regionalization, new trade agreements, international mobility and in particular the knowledge society and higher education have been powerful forces in economic growth. This growth can be enhanced in Barents Region by encouraging the smooth flow of ideas, best practices, people knowledge, learning and teaching technologies, values and culture across borders.
The overall objective is to contribute to the development of the Barents Region by promoting Cross-Border academic cooperation in order to train highly skilled, technologically literate workforce for the knowledge-based economies in the Barents region.
In practice it means further developing, expanding and integrating of the BCBU+ Master Degree programmes in four fields (social work, health and well-being, environmental engineering and information systems) to regular activities of participating universities with cost effective measures and meet the labor markets need in the program area in line with the Bologna Process. And in so doing to develop models of good practices for implementation and cooperation for master’s programmes and to strengthen and institutionalize a cross border campus.
The project will promote further cross border education, research and development initiatives. The knowledge acquired from these master’s degree programmes is geared towards tackling the growing social problems of ageing population, drug abuse, prostitution, as well as environmental problems, the threat of climate change and health related problems with a strong need of sustainable environmental development and clean water in the whole programme area. The extraction and equitable use of the natural resources of the region and the solving of the ecological and environmental challenges that may arise as a result can only be guaranteed through a stable mutual cooperation of knowledge exchange between the member states of the region. This type of mutual and stable cooperation will be achieved by exchanging knowledge of higher education through research and development throughout the region.
Minimize the gap between the educational institutions in the Barents region. The several universities harbours need to strengthen cooperation through joint research and development work for the common good of the region.
This project will encourage the movement of workers and students across the border of which labour mobility is one of the programmes’ objectives. By introducing students and lecturers to new cultural environment the project fulfills one of the programmes requirements of minimizing cultural differences in the region that hamper labour mobility.
Also by promoting cooperation between higher educational institutions, the project sets a gateway or model to institutions in different sectors to emulate the same strategy, which is also one of the programme’s requirements. Project protects multiculturality of the programme area. In addition it effects on the employment of the peripheral region.