McMaster University

McMaster University

GHO Awarded Funding for High North Program with HBV

Published: March 5, 2015

landscape of northThe GHO is delighted to announce we have been awarded funding for the High North Program grant, submitted in November 2014 with Buskerud & Vestfold University College (HBV). The grant outlined our collaboration in creating a joint Norwegian and Canadian global health course that addresses health policy issues of the High North.

The new course will complement McMaster’s existing MSc in Global Health program, which we deliver through a network of partner universities (Maastricht University in the Netherlands and Manipal University in India).


Canada’s Arctic is made up of three main territories: the Northwest Territories, Yukon and Nunavut. It covers over 40% of the landmass and is home to more than 100,000 Canadians.

Norway’s Arctic territory consists of the three counties: Nordland, Troms and Finnmark on the mainland, and the Svalbard archipelago and the island of Jan Mayen. Together, these areas make up almost half the Norwegian land mass and are home to around 470 000 people (less than a tenth of the Norwegian population).

There is not just a need for higher education in health policies addressing the High North, but a need for greater access to higher education in these Norwegian and Canadian regions that are part of the circumpolar Arctic.

A New Course – Global Health Policy

With a joint global health course, HBV and McMaster can further enhance education in global health policy, with an emphasis on issues affecting Canada's and Norway’s High North specifically.

The course will teach future global healthcare leaders critical approaches to interrogating policies from all points of view, while providing healthcare leaders located in the circumpolar north with easier access to higher education.

Students from other schools in High North regions will have the opportunity to access to the course and its content virtually, an innovative mode of delivery we employ in the MSc in Global Health program. The GH program is collaborative in nature, with students working in virtual, transcontinental learning pods to gain experience building relationships with peers across different locations, cultures and backgrounds.

One of our main objectives with the High North Program is to help mitigate gaps in the need for a better prepared healthcare workforce – one that understands healthcare policies and has the ability to work in a rapidly changing global environment.


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