With the Arctic Five we make our voices heard in a global context and provide unique opportunities for our students, faculties and stakeholder.


Amended by The Arctic Five Rectors’ Council on October 18, 2021


These Bylaws describe the structure and governance of the Arctic Five collaboration.

The Arctic Five is a university alliance with the aim to strengthen and facilitate collaboration between its Partners. The Arctic Five Partners are Luleå University of Technology (SE), Umeå University (SE), University of Lapland (FI), University of Oulu (FI), and University of Tromsø – The Arctic University of Norway (NO).

The focus of the alliance is the advancement and spreading of knowledge with special relevance to the development of a sustainable Arctic region, as expressed in the Joint Arctic Agenda (Appendix 1). The Arctic is defined as all Arctic and sub-Arctic (circumpolar) regions of the world. Arctic research is defined as all research relating to these regions.

The Arctic Five promotes mutual respect, communication, and collaboration between the Arctic Five and indigenous and Northern peoples, while recognizing that these are not mutually exclusive groups.

For avoidance of doubt, the Arctic Five shall not be construed as an association or any other form of legal entity.

1. Objectives

The objectives of the Arctic Five are:

  • To promote communication and coordination between the Partners;
  • To promote collaboration between the Partners within Arctic research and education;
  • To increase the participation of the Partners in national and international Arctic research and education and facilitate joint applications of external funding;
  • To increase internal and external awareness of circumpolar issues and research;
  • To establish the Arctic Five as a recognized key actor on Arctic issues.

2. Partnership

2.1 Partnership in the Arctic Five is exclusive to the five (5) Partner universities.

2.2.  Partners are entitled to hold office and to have representation in the Rectors’ Council, the Executive Team, Working Groups and in the Arctic Five Students’ Team in accordance to what stated in these bylaws.

3. Organization

3.1  The Arctic Five collaboration is directed by the Rectors’ Council through the Executive Team.

3.2  The Rectors’ Council and the Executive Team are chaired by one (1) Partner at the time, for a two-year (2) period, in a rotating order. This commitment is referred to as hosting the Arctic Five Secretariat.

3.3  The coordination of the collaboration is managed by the Director of the Arctic Five with support from the Co-Director.

3.4  The Arctic Five Secretariat (including website and communications office) and the Working Groups coordinate and work with specific actions, like plans, position papers and applications, after directives from the Rectors’ Council and the Executive Team. Individual Working Groups serve as bottom-up implementors and drivers of key collaborations of the Arctic Five, with each working group defined and subsequently approved by the Executive Team.

3.5  Student participation is organized through the Students’ Team.

4. Director of the Arctic Five

4.1  The Director of the Arctic Five is appointed by the Rectors’ Council. The Director shall be employed by the Partner that holds office.

4.2  The Director chairs the Executive Team.

4.3  The Director reports to the Rector’s Council, manages the coordination of the collaboration within the Arctic Five and is responsible for the agenda and notes of the Rectors’ Council meetings, and the meetings of the Executive Team.

4.4  The Director is responsible for administrating per-capsulam decisions.

5. Co-Director of the Arctic Five

5.1  The Co-Director of the Arctic Five is appointed by the Rectors’ Council.

5.2  The Co-Director and the Director shall belong to different Partners.

5.3  The Co-Director the Director in the coordination of the collaboration. The primary role of the Co-Director is to serve as a discussion partner for the Director, but the assignment is expected to also include other tasks. The distribution of responsibilities between the Director and Co-Director are agreed between each Director and Co-Director.

6. Rectors’ Council

6.1  The Rectors’ Council is the highest decision-making body, providing strategic leadership.

6.2  The Rectors’ Council consists of six (6) members. Each Partner has one (1) seat in the Rectors’ Council reserved for the Rector (Vice-Chancellor), or an appointed deputy. Students are represented by one (1) member, appointed by the Arctic Five Students’ Team.

6.3  The Rectors’ Council convenes at least once during each calendar year. Attendance of all Rectors (Vice-Chancellors) is strived for. Quorum is required and considered to be met if no fewer than five (5) persons are in attendance, including at least one representative from each Partner.

6.4  The meetings of the Rectors’ Council is chaired by the Rector (Vice-Chancellor) of the Arctic Five Partner that holds office.

The Chair of the Arctic Five Rectors’ Council represents the Arctic Five in external relations, or may delegate this responsibility to the Director, the Co-Director, or to another member in the Rectors’ Council/Executive Team.

6.5  The Director attends the meetings of the Rectors’ Council and is responsible for the agenda and notes.

6.6  The members of the Executive Team and the Co-Director have an observatory status in the Rectors’ Council that allow participation at council meetings without a right to vote.

6.7  Each member of the Rectors’ Council has one (1) vote. Decisions by the Rectors’ Council are by simple majority of affirmative or negative votes of those present and taking part in the vote. In the event of a tie, the motion fails; however, the Rectors’ Council will attempt to find consensus among its members.

6.8  A Partner which can show that its own work, time for performance, costs, liabilities, intellectual property rights or other legitimate interests would be severely affected by a decision of the Rectors’ Council may exercise a veto with respect to the corresponding decision or relevant part of the decision.

7. Executive Team

7.1  The Executive Team facilitates the work of the Arctic Five between the meetings of the Rectors’ Council, and takes appropriate actions in agreement with the policies and decisions of the Rector’s Council. The Executive Team also serves as primary contact point for Arctic Five related issues, both within and between Partners.

7.2  The Executive Team consists of twelve (12) members. Each Partner appoints two (2) members to the Executive Team. Students are represented by two (2) members, appointed by the Arctic Five Students’ Team.

7.3  The Executive Team convenes at least two (2) times every calendar year. Quorum is required and considered to be met if no fewer than six (6) persons are in attendance, including representatives from at least three of the five Partners.

7.4  The Director is responsible for the agenda and the notes.

7.5  Each member of the Executive Team has one (1) vote. Decisions by the Executive Team are by a simple majority of affirmative or negative votes of those present and taking part in the vote. In the event of a tie, the motion fails; however, the Executive Team will attempt to find consensus among its members. In case of a non-participating Partner at a meeting of the Executive Team, their approval of decisions will be confirmed in consultation per- capsulam.

7.6  The Executive Team may appoint groups with different purposes and tasks to drive the collaboration forward.

8. Working Groups

8.1  The Working Groups are bespoke teams of individuals in partner institutions deployed as key bottom-up implementors and drivers of Arctic Five collaboration as defined in development plans approved by the Rector’s Council. Each work group is formed by decision of the Executive Team.

In addition, member nominations for each work group, as well as a leader for each group are collected and confirmed by the Executive Team. The Director of the Arctic Five is oversees developments and ensures coordination between the work groups.

8.2  Each partner institution appoints at least one member to each established working group, and ensures their capacity and capability to contribute to the development of initiatives determined by the Rector’s Council and the Executive Team. To ensure better collaboration between partner institutions, appointed work group members are expected to have a role in their respective organization’s daily operations. The Students’ Team will also be invited to appoint student members to the working groups.

8.3 Each working group is self-organized with respect to the ways of operating, and should have a flexible bottom up approach for allocating work efforts for specific actions, as well as being open to additional members and contributors to the group. Each work group can appoint a co-lead from among its members, and may also establish more targeted time sensitive Task Forces to augment specific actions and initiatives.

9. Students’ Team

9.1 The Students’ Team consists of ten (10) members, two (2) from each Partner.

9.2  The Students’ Team constitutes itself with a chair and a vice-chair.

9.3  The Students’ Team appoints one (1) member to have a seat in the Rectors’ Council and two (2) members to be included in the Executive Team.

9.4  The Students’ Team organizes their own meetings.

9.5  The Students’ Team decides their own decision-making and reporting processes.

Here is a document with the Students’ Team’s guidelines.

10. Financial support

10.1 Each Partner agrees to perform work and activities within its organization for development of the Arctic Five collaboration equal to a monetary sum of € 100,000 (one-hundred-thousand).

The funding should be allocated and reported in accordance with decisions taken by the Rectors’ Council.

11. Changes to the Bylaws

11.1  The Executive Team may propose a change of the Bylaws.

11.2  Ratification of any change requires a unanimous decision in the Rectors’ Council.

12. Exiting the Arctic Five collaboration

12.1 Participation of the undersigning Partners is based on voluntary basis. Should a Partner wish to leave the collaboration and decline the obligations of the Bylaws, a Partner is free to do so at their will and at any time by own discretion. A Partner leaving commits to use its best efforts to make the exit as smooth as possible, e.g. reviewing all collaborative on-going and planned activities with the Executive Team.