Since BCS is a double-degree program and Sharon wanted a full bachelor’s degree, she needed more online courses to complete a three-year bachelor’s degree. University of Alaska Fairbanks allowed her to enrol in graduate courses, and she has also taken additional courses at UiT, the Arctic University of Norway, over the last two years in order to complete her bachelor’s degree.

After many hours of flying and thousands of kilometers, she traveled all the way from Iqaluit, Nunavut to Alta, Norway to take an exam in Project Management, which is a part of an Advanced Emphasis program for Bachelor of Northern Studies offered by UiN.
To the question of why she came such a long way for just one exam, Sharon replies: “My motivation, among others, has been to prove that it is possible to live in the Canadian Arctic and graduate from an Arctic-based university. There are no universities in the Canadian Arctic.” She has found the programs relevant and says that “the BCS/BNS programs make sense to my reality and where I am situated in the Arctic. I know that I would not have found similar programs in southern Canada."

"In a changing Arctic, now more than ever, we are all citizens of one inextricably linked region, and programs like these promote understanding of how we are linked. They are very important to the future of the region. Reaching this sometimes seemingly unachievable goal has really been made possible through the guidance of dedicated educators in Norway and Alaska, and for that I am forever grateful.”

As one of the intentions of developing the BCS courses within UArctic was to be able to offer courses about the North, for the North, in the North, this story is a direct answer to facilitating that goal. And for UiT, as a member of UArctic, it is satisfying to see students complete a bachelor’s degree in this way.

interview by Per Møller, project coordinator of BNS program, UiT, Campus Alta

photo: Sharon Edmunds, Senior Research Adviser at Tunngavik Incorporated in Iqaluit, Nunavut