University of the Faroe Islands to Host UArctic Congress 2026

The UArctic Assembly decided this week that the University of the Faroe Islands will host the UArctic Congress 2026, which will be one of the largest conferences ever held in the country

The Arctic University, known as UArctic, is an international cooperation of universities, research institutions, and other organizations aimed at promoting research and education in the Arctic region.

The Faroe Islands are members of the Arctic Council, and the University of the Faroe Islands has membership in UArctic on an equal footing with other universities in the collaboration.

UArctic recently held a conference and general meeting in Bodø, Norway, where Bergur Djurhuus Hansen, Dean, presented a proposal that the University is eager to host the UArctic Congress 2026. The proposal was unanimously approved by the members on Monday, June 3, 2024.

The event will be one of the very large conferences with between 500 and 1000 participants from many different countries, requiring extensive preparations, but the goal is also to gain a lot from it, says Bergur Djurhuus Hansen.

- Firstly, it is important for Faroese society because it shows that we are active in Arctic research, and it also shows that we contribute at the intersection of research and politics, which is increasingly significant these days. Secondly, as a university, we get the opportunity to demonstrate that we can organize such a large interdisciplinary international conference, where people from a large part of the world participate. And thirdly, the location in the Faroe Islands is very important for Faroese researchers, who can easily connect with other researchers and join networks to make their mark. I especially see this as an advantage for young Faroese researchers, says Bergur Djurhuus Hansen.

Martin Tvede Zachariasen, Rector at the University of the Faroe Islands, also sees great advantages in hosting UArctic 2026 in the Faroe Islands.

- Yes, I am pleased that the University will host such a large international conference. This shows that we play a significant role when it comes to Arctic research and Arctic cooperation. The University of the Faroe Islands wants to be an integrated part of the international academic community, and this conference is a good example of that and an important step along the way, says the Rector.

Many different collaborations are organized under UArctic, where staff at the University also contribute and benefit. For example, Bergur Djurhuus Hansen leads a new network called the Thematic Network on Arctic Cultures and History (ARCH), which is based on the idea that questions or problems in the Arctic cannot be answered or solved without considering historical and cultural conditions.

Another example is the project ConnectED, which is part of the network, Teacher Education for Social Justice and Diversity in Education, where Kalpana Vijayavarathan, the new Dean of the Faculty of Education at the University of the Faroe Islands, is the project leader.

The UArctic Congress will be held in the Faroe Islands in May 2026.