Study Programs
International Membership

The idea of creation of Polar Academy first appeared in 1990 during the first Soviet-French Expedition to Chukotka which occurred with the patronage of city of Leningrad. Soviet Cultural Fund and French Arctic Researches Center took part in organization of the expedition. The International expedition was equipped by the Arctic and Antarctic Institute (USSR). The first stage of Academy establishment took place in 1991 and its forerunner was brought to life in the form of Polar Circle Alliance. Its first International Study Center had started to train national personnel administration of North, Siberia and Far East regions of Russia.

During two first years of work the International Study Center attracted attention of experts and society. High-minded directions of the Center activities were supported by Russian Ministries and French state institutions and social organizations.

Since 1992 the Center is under the auspices of the National Administration School of France. The same time the agreement on long terms cooperation was signed by the Higher School of Social Sciences of France. There was created a highly professional experts team out of number of Russian and French scholars on the ground of the International Study Center. Through the experience the Center got the Polar Academy foundation became possible. Thus it is the unique educational institution representing the international solidarity in provision the future for the indigenous culture peoples.

In 1998, to honor the Decade of indigenous peoples of the World declared by United Nations Organization, the government of Russia gave the Polar Academy a title of the State higher educational institution for the indigenous culture peoples.

President of the Academy and the chairman of the board of trustees is Artur Tchilingarov, famous Russian polar explorer, Hero of the Soviet Union and Hero of Russia, leading Russian scientist, author of number of works devoted to North and Arctic exploration issues. He is the corresponding member of the Russian academy of Science and the State Duma Deputy, honored professor of many institutions and bearer of many state rewards.

Honorary president of Academy is Jean Malaurie, famous French polar explorer, scientist and writer, Director of Arctic Research Center of France. He devoted more than forty years of his scholar life to indigenous peoples of the North and became a head of the first Soviet-French expedition to Chukotka.

Since 1992 French partners took active part in training the experts for indigenous population of North, Siberia and Far East. This alone and the Jean Malaurie personality play a special role in communication and relations between Russia and France. That’s why president of France Jacques Chirac visited Academy several times during his official visits to Russia and brought the patronage of city of Paris to the Academy while being the mayor of Paris.

For the years from its foundation Academy gave education to students of different nationalities. Polyethnic students community represents 44 subjects of Russian Federation: 57 peoples from 59 regions of North, Siberia and Far East. State Polar Academy is also open to foreign students who came here from all over the world. Students make their Final Diploma Project according to problematic of their native regions. Out of whole number of alumni more than 400 have diploma with honors what makes honor for the Academy itself.

The State Polar Academy was registered in the International Association of Francophone Universities in 2004, and signed a cooperation agreement with the Institut régional d'administration (IRA) of Lille, France (2005–2007).

2008 became the anniversary year for the State Polar Academy and marked its first decade. That was the year when the new rector of the Academy was chosen. The founder of the Academy and its first rector Azurget Shaukenbaeva was succeeded by Kermen Basangova who continued the original strong movement of international activity and cooperation. In 2011, with support of Herzen State Pedagogical University the State Polar Academy opened the Department of UNESCO, in the field of Cultural Heritage and Traditional Nature Management for North, Siberia and Far East Peoples.


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