The Open Invitation meeting provided an opportunity for Russian UArctic Member Institutions to receive general information about UArctic and more specific information about the Circumpolar Studies program. Overall, there was much generated discussion on the Circumpolar Studies core courses and advanced emphases, its delivery and implementation throughout UArctic’s higher education institutions, and the future successes of increased involvements, new partnerships and collaboration agreements. The meeting contested the continuing growth of Russian involvement to the student experience and value of UArctic’s mission to bring accessible education to all northern populations.

Open InvitationThose in attendance included the staff of the main Office of Undergraduate Studies – Hayley Hesseln, Dean; Emmy S. Neuls, Program Officer; and Tom Novosel, Program Assistant. Our Russian Regional Office was represented by Sargylana Kondakova, Associate Dean, Sakha State University, Yakutsk. And our Associate Russian Regional Office was represented by Nina Nesterova, Director, and Lyubov Zavgorodnyaya, Interpreter and Local BCS Site Coordinator, Syktyvkar State University, Syktyvkar.

We would like to express our thanks to our following Russian colleagues who travelled to attend the meeting:

• Kirov State Medical Academy – Yuri Zorin, Coordinator for International Affairs, Vera Limonova, Coordinator of International Affairs
• Murmansk Humanities Institute – Maria Porto, BCS Site Coordinator (International Office)
• Nerjungri Technical Institute – Alexandra Chepil, BCS Site Coordinator (International Office)
• Surgut State University – Viktoria Purtova, BCS Site Coordinator (International Office)
• Vologda State Pedagogical University – Lilia Berseneva, Vice-Rector of International Activity and Ties
• Yugra State University – Olga Hopiaynen, Head of Department of International Projects and Academic Mobility Programmes

We would like to point out the attendance of two non-member institutions of UArctic: Kirov State Medical Academy and Vologda State Pedagogical University, whose participants expressed a serious desire to join the UArctic consortium.

We would also particularly like to thank our gracious hosts from the State Polar Academy who provided a wonderful setting for our meeting. Our following colleagues from the State Polar Academy expressed a very warm welcome to all of us during the meeting:

• Kermen Maratovna Basangova, Rector
• Valery Pavlovich Pilyavsky, Sub-Rector for Science and Development
• Sidnenko Tatyana Ivanovna, Sub-Rector for Undergraduate Studies
• Antonova Xenia Nikolaevna, Head of Department of English Language and Literature

Special thanks also go out to Sargylana Kondakova and Xenia Nikolaevna who both provided extensive translation and interpretation services. Further thanks also go out to Xenia for assisting with all meeting logistics and planning.

All of the Regional Offices of Undergraduate Studies, including for the Nordic-Barents region, were already in Saint Petersburg for their bi-annual meeting.