Floating University: An international co-operation for training in marine sciences

Category Other
Group GSI.IR
Location International Geological Congress,oslo 2008
Author Ivanov, Mikhail۱; Suzyumov, A.۲; Kenyon, N.۳; Woodside , J.۴; Akhmanov, G.۱; Kozlova , E.۱
Holding Date 05 October 2008

The Floating University is a long-term multicomponent educational programme initiated by initiative of the Moscow State University about 20 years ago. Its international activity and achievements, both in fields of science and education, are broadly recognized. In the period 1991 – 2007, sixteen annual international cruises were conducted on deep European margins, fifteen post-cruise conferences were organized, over 600 scientists and students, representing more than 100 institutions from 31 countries, have participated in the cruises and other forms of the Floating University activity. “Floating University” and its slogan (“Training-through-Research”) became international trademarks of training and research of the highest quality.
The Floating University combines the advantages of the formal training of students with the experiences from advanced research in marine geosciences under supervision of leading scientists. The cores of the programme are annual marine expeditions and post-cruise scientific conferences. The key ideas of the programme are:
- Training through participation of students in scientific researches or “training through research”.
- Multidisciplinary approach. Leaders of the programme form research group containing experts in various fields of marine geosciences. Students of different specializations participate in the programme. The team-work promotes complex studies of scientific problem and introduces students to adjacent disciplines.
- Cyclic training. Annual training cycle includes: a) definition of scientific tasks, their theoretical study, preparation for marine expedition; b) participation in expedition, collecting of field material; c) processing of gathered material in laboratories, interpretation of obtained data; d) presentation and discussion of results at scientific seminars within national research groups; e) preparation of presentations for annual international conference of the Floating University; f) preparation of publications in research journals and recommendations for practical activity.
- Effective transfer of skills and experience. Students work in one team together with experienced specialists, adopting new skills and knowledge in expeditions and laboratories much easier and faster than in lecture rooms. - Developing of intercultural contacts. Students and scientists of many countries participate in the programme. Intensive work of students in multinational collective teaches to appreciate national differences and develops very important virtues – tolerance and mutual understanding. Norwegian universities and Statoil have been actively involved in the Floating University activity. The cruises of 1998, 2000, 2003, and 2006 were conducted on Norwegian margin. The cruise of 2008 is devoted to investigation of geological processes on deep margins of north-western Norway and will be carried out in co-operation with the Tromso University and support of StatoilHydro.