Northern environment places specific demands on the delivery of health care and wellbeing services to the people living in the North. The ongoing changes in the climate, the environment and the social structures have significant influence on the health and wellbeing of Northern residents, as well as on the cultures across the borders in the Northern region. As an example the Inuit at Greenland are a genetically distinct people living under extreme physical conditions. Their traditional living conditions and diet are undergoing a transformation, which may approach their disease pattern to that of the industrialized world, while still including local outbreaks of e.g. tuberculosis. This causes special demands also for higher education. In addition there is a considerable need to provide capabilities for Northern residents to face these challenges.

In a Global Change course survey conducted in all University of the Arctic member organisations by the UArctic Thematic Network on Global Change in the Arctic, over 600 global change courses were found. However, only few approached possible influence on people’s health and wellbeing showing that there is a gap and need for higher education in Circumpolar Health and Wellbeing. In order to fill this gap in circumpolar education the on-line course “Health, security and well-being in the North” was developed by international experts led by Professor Arja Rautio at Centre for Arctic Medicine at Thule Institute, University of Oulu, Finland. Course is one of five new courses developed in Thematic Network on Global Change in the Arctic .