Sámi University College

Sámi University College is an indigenous Sámi institution of higher education and research, established in 1989 and situated in Guovdageaidnu (Kautokeino, Northern Norway ), in the heart of Sámiland. The research profile of the Sámi University College has been strengthened since 2005 through collaboration with the Nordic Sámi Institute, a Sámi research institute established in 1973.

Sámi language in focus
Sámi University College offers Sámi as the language of instruction for all courses, and many research projects are conducted in the Sámi language. Through publishing in the Sámi language, the university staff is actively involved in developing it as a language of research and outreach. Developing the Sámi language as an academic language is one of the priorities and responsibilities of the University College. The Sámi language is used daily in university college offices and business communications. Sámi University College is the only institution in the world that uses the Sámi language in almost all of its activities.

Divisions and education
The academic staff is organized into three units, the Language Division, the Social Sciences Division, and the Division for Natural Sciences including traditional arts and means of livelihood. Master and Bachelor programs are offered in Sámi language and literature, and in Sámi traditional and applied arts (duodji). Sámi University College specializes in teacher training, offering unique programs in Sámi teacher training for kindergarten and primary and secondary school. Bachelor programs are offered in journalism and reindeer herding.
The Sámi University College also offers a number of short courses that may be part of bachelor degrees. Shorter courses in English are planned in the near future. There are about 40 courses in total, and we offer 20-24 different courses annually.

All teaching is grounded in a Sámi and indigenous perspective. Traditional and indigenous knowledge is included in research and education. Traditional knowledge holders are members of the teaching staff.

Research fields
The main research fields are linguistics, history (including law history and history of religions), traditional arts, reindeer husbandry, pedagogy, cultural anthropology, and journalism. Research interests of the university staff also include biology, mathematics, philosophy, and entrepreneurship. Sámi University College is one of the leading institutions in the fields of research on traditional knowledge and legal rights.

International environment
The Sámi people is a cross-border people living in Norway, Finland, Sweden, and North-West Russia. Students and staff at Sámi University College come from all around the Sámi region. The University College has approximately 150-200 students a year, and about 100 full-time employees. The academic staff currently consists of about 50 employees, of which 6 are Professors, 5 are Associate Professors with and 10 with a Doctoral degree. 23 are currently qualifying themselves at the PhD level.

Sámi University College works in close collaboration with other institutions, especially in the North and in the indigenous world. Sámi University College is a member of the Arctic universities’ cooperation (uArctic), and is an accredited member of the World Indigenous Nations Higher Education Consortium, which involves indigenous institutions from the Americas, Oceania, and Asia. We share the vision of Indigenous Peoples of the world united in the collective synergy of self-determination through control of higher education.

The main purpose of the Sámi University College is to preserve and develop Sámi language; tradition; and traditional livelihoods, knowledge, and skills. The University College works in close collaboration with Sámi communities, organizations, and traditional knowledge holders. All educational and research activities aim to strengthen and develop Sámi society and to contribute to increased competence in Sámi and indigenous issues.