Events in Aberdeen continue until August 29 with the "Conversations from the North" conference.

The Rectors' Forum this year took place at Aberdeen's King's College Conference Centre, from August 23 to 25 August, 2017. The theme of the meeting was "The Inhabited Arctic: Lands, Peoples and Scholarship in the Circumpolar North." Highlights of the meeting were the opening keynote plenary "Scotland: In Britain Or In Europe?" by Iain Macwhirter as well as three engaging panel discussions. The three panels took the themes of:

  1. How can disciplines in the natural sciences and in the social sciences and humanities work together to advance our understanding of the circumpolar North?
  2. How can this research best assist inhabitants of the North in responding to the challenges of global environmental change?
  3. How can the knowledge and wisdom of northern peoples help to shape the agendas for future circumpolar research?  

The discussions and conclusions of these panels were of great interest to the participating university leaders and provided significant input to the future development of UArctic as a network.

As is tradition, this year's Rectors' Forum was accompanied by a parallel Student Forum, featuring students who accompanied their rectors to Aberdeen. The Rectors' Forum concluded with an discussion session between the students and rectors, where the Student Forum presented their own Declaration to the assembled participants.

The Rectors' Forum Declaration itself highlights many of the issues that were raised during the meetings, and the main challenges facing universities, research and higher education in the North today. The meeting also highlights the value of partnerships between institutions in the "near North" with those in the Circumpolar North within the UArctic network.