Recommendations to Support Youth > Educational Organizations (Schools, Colleges, Universities, Training Centres)

  • Maintain and diversify regional educational possibilities. Educational possibilities keep remote communities viable and enable local young people to stay in their home region. In Finland, maintaining the existing small upper secondary schools and vocational schools is particularly important. In Russia, a focal consideration is making programmes gender inclusive and diversifying them beyond the needs of the extractive industries.

  • Introduce topics on the North as a homeland in educational programmes in schools, colleges, and companies. The focus here is to learn about the specifics of the local climate and environment, local/indigenous livelihoods and cultures, and sustainable living. This would give incoming residents (both new arrivals and returnees) a basic skillset for when they start working in the North.

  • Enable on-the-job training on all levels of post-secondary education, with students being guided towards working in local industries during their education. When possible, encourage local vocational schools and major local enterprises to agree cooperative arrangements in education, for example, by requiring a guarantee or obligation on companies’ part to employ local youth. This encourages young people to remain in their hometown for education and work.

Examples from Russia

Kirovsk (Kirovsk Branch of Murmansk Arctic State University). Kovdor (Polytechnical college): On-the-job training including mining and tourism education, all at the applied sciences level.

Nizhnyi Kuranakh (Polyus Gold): company internship and education programme at the professional level. In all instances there is considerable certainty that after graduation participating students will get a job at the company where they trained.

Examples from Finland
Countrywide (vocational schools): On-the-job learning in partner companies is part of the curriculum of vocational schools, and this learning can be tailored to individual needs.

Kolari (Lapland Education Centre and municipality): The Osaajia alueelle -project develops flexible and work-oriented training and employment paths tailored to local and individual needs. Young people can work in a goal-oriented setting to learn an occupation that is needed in the municipality.
  • Encourage a combination of distance and face-to-face studies, even at the university level, in places where there is otherwise no higher education available. The students work towards a qualification at universities while living and working elsewhere (their hometowns). Teaching takes place in a combination of online assignments and on-site instruction twice yearly, for which young people travel to big university cities and study intensively. While full distance learning is also a possibility, it is not as appealing an option for young people as a combination of distance and face-to-face learning, as they cannot enjoy the attractions of ‘big city life’ available in university towns. Such a part-time model could be more effective in encouraging young people to stay in the North.  

Example from Finland
Countrywide (universities): Distance learning is possible in the universities across Finland in varying degrees in different subjects.

Some young people in Kolari, Kemijärvi and Pyhäjoki have chosen to stay in their hometowns, travelling to university towns only for obligatory sessions.
Example from Russia
Countrywide (universities and industrial companies): Universities offer possibilities for remote studies (zaochnoe obuchenie) in collaboration with industrial companies from all over Russia.

Some industrial companies have flexible working regimes that allow students time off for concentrated periods of lectures and examinations in big university towns.
  • Provide information about opportunities for remote working and for education in professions in which remote work is possible (e.g., IT, marketing, design and online entrepreneurship) for people who prefer to work at home in the North instead of moving to the South for employment.