State Polar Academy
State Polar Academy – the idea of establishing the Polar Academy appeared in 1990 in course of the first Soviet-French Expedition in Chukotka, which was conducted under the auspices of the city of Leningrad (USSR). The Soviet Cultural Fund and the French Center for Arctic Research participated in the process of the expedition organization. The equipment for this international expedition was provided by the Arctic and Antarctic Research Institute (USSR). In 1991 St. Petersburg saw the establishment of the Academy’s predecessor, the Arctic Circle Organization. Its international study center was first to prepare the national managing personnel for the Northern regions, Siberia, and the Russian Far East.
Starting from 1992 the Center stayed under the auspices of the National Administration School of France. Then the Russian party signed the contract for long-term cooperation with the French School for Advanced Studies in the Social Sciences. The International study center became the place of work of the highly qualified Russian and foreign teachers. Thanks to the Center’s experience the creation of the Polar Academy as a unique institution of education became possible. It embodied the idea of international solidarity in securing good future for the peoples with traditional cultures.
The first founding shareholders of the Academy were the Ministry for the National Affairs and the Federative Relations, the State Committee for the Development of the North, the Ministry of Education of the Russian Federation, the Government of the Sakha Republic (Yakutia), and the Arctic Circle Organization.
The venerable president of the Academy was Jean Malaurie, a writer, a famous French Polar researcher, and the Director of the French Center for Arctic Research who led the first Soviet-French Expedition in Chukotka.
In 1998 the Polar Academy was bestowed the status of the State Higher Professional Institution for the peoples with traditional cultures to commemorate the UN proclamation of the Decade of the Indigenous People of the World.
The Head of the supervisory board of the State Polar Academy is A. N. Chilingarov, the eminent Russian scientist, polar explorer, the Hero of the Soviet Union, and the Hero of Russia.
One of the founders and the first provost of the Academy (2000–2008) was A. T. Shaukenbaeva, a member of the Russian Geographical Society, the honorary member of the French Geographic Society, and an organizer and coordinator of the first Soviet-French Expedition (Chukotka-90).
The State Polar Academy actively cooperates with the administrative and subnational entities having contracts with most of them for preparing the personnel and scientific cooperation.
In 2008 the Academy was accredited by the state in seven educational programs and got a license. The same year saw the opening of postgraduate department. In 2011 the Academy started hosting the department of the UNESCO chair “Theory of Education in a Multicultural Society” of the Herzen State Pedagogical University, the stream of project realization “Cultural Heritage and the Traditional Environmental Management of the Peoples in the North, Siberia and the Far East.”
The Academy has four faculties of Economics and Management, of Ecology and Environmental Management, of Philology, and of National Art.