- 1 Overview
- 2 Education in Svalbard
- 3 Internet in Svalbard
- 4 Copyright law in Svalbard
- 5 OER Initiatives in Svalbard
- 6 References
Svalbard is an archipelago in the Arctic Ocean north of mainland Europe, about midway between mainland Norway and the North Pole. It consists of a group of islands ranging from 74° to 81° north latitude, and from 10° to 35° east longitude. The archipelago is the northernmost part of Norway. Three islands are populated: Spitsbergen, Bear Island and Hopen. The population is around 2,000. The largest settlement is Longyearbyen - the capital.
The Spitsbergen Treaty (1920) recognised Norwegian sovereignty over Svalbard, and the 1925 Svalbard Act made Svalbard a full part of the Kingdom of Norway. According to Per Sefland, the former Governor of Svalbard, the treaty implies that "if you're able to find a job, you have the right, according to the treaty, to come here". The treaty also states, "The nationals of all the high contracting parties [signatories] shall have equal liberty of access and entry for any reason or object whatever to the waters, fjords and ports of the territories." Therefore, some immigrants who have been denied residence in EU countries have relocated to Svalbard. The official language in Svalbard is Norwegian, though some areas do speak Russian. The Spitsbergen Treaty established full Norwegian sovereignty over the archipelago; unlike the Norwegian Antarctic Territory, Svalbard is therefore part of the Kingdom of Norway, and not a dependency. The power has some limitations in taxation, environmental conservation, non-discrimination and certain military activity. Under the terms of the treaty, citizens of signatory states have rights to exploit mineral deposits and other natural resources "on a footing of absolute equality". As a result, a permanent Russian settlement, more or less autonomous, grew up at Barentsburg. Another Russian settlement at Pyramiden was abandoned by a Russian mining firm in January 1998.
For further general information see Wikipedia:Svalbard.
Education in Svalbard
For a general description of education in Svalbard see Education:Svalbard.
For a description more focussed to e-learning see E-learning:Svalbard.