Mergers in the North: The Making of the Arctic University of Norway

  • Peter ArboEmail author
  • Tove Bull
Part of the Higher Education Dynamics book series (HEDY, volume 46)


The University of Tromsø in Northern Norway merged in 2009 and 2013 with two smaller university colleges in the region. Both mergers were voluntary and initiated by the institutions themselves. In this chapter, we describe and analyse these mergers. We look into their background, the merger processes, their different characteristics, and their outcomes. The chapter also highlights factors that facilitated and complicated the mergers, such as institutional distinctiveness, size, complementarity, and geographical distance. The mergers have created a more hybrid, multi-campus university that is more challenging to manage and coordinate. The processes have been time-consuming and required considerable resources. Nevertheless, the overall conclusion is that these mergers have been beneficial in terms of teaching, research, regional engagement, and the attractiveness of the institutions. A main finding is that institutional context and leadership are of critical importance in higher education mergers.


High Education High Education Institution Study Programme High Education System Merger Process 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Norwegian College of Fishery ScienceUniversity of Tromsø – The Arctic University of NorwayTromsøNorway
  2. 2.Faculty of Humanities, Social Sciences and EducationUniversity of Tromsø – The Arctic University of NorwayTromsøNorway

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