Arctic Yearbook 2014 - Page 41

Arctic Yearbook 2014 41 cultural groups had been able to solve on their own based on their different frames of reference and thus various formal and informal skills and knowledge. However, this approach has not always been successful. Group work is difficult, and intercultural group work is a challenge - even if all students attend. Sometimes the intercultural differences created a negative synergy because some of the Danish students were very brash and dominant in their work, and some of the Greenlandic students mentally withdrew from the partnership, choosing to focus on small details so that their knowledge and skills never came into play. Other times, some Greenlandic students’ involvement and contributions were so limited that it created conflicts and they retired mentally, and the Danish students in turn felt that solving the whole task depended on them. Although the program overall is a success, there is clearly room for improvement. It is a delicate matter to take Greenlandic young people with weak Danish language and inadequate study strategies hinged on cultural differences, and force them to adapt to European university studies. At times we need to ask ourselves whether we in fact violate these young people by ‘forcing’ them through such training and teaching. On the other hand, if more young Greenlanders do not break the cycle of disadvantage and complete higher education, Greenland is stuck in a disproportionate dependence on outside labor and dominance of a Danish born elite, while large parts of the population are excluded from both labor and influence. Thus social inequality is increased and society’s social cohesion is challenged. Notes 1. From 2009, Greenland transitioned to Self Rule with expanded domestic political powers but still as part of the Danish Kingdom and subject to Danish foreign and defense policy, as well as the Danish legal system and police. 2. Interview with Greenlandic students at the Arctic Engineering education in Sisimiut, Greenland. 3. Based on data from Statistics Greenland. 4. Including a. o. social help, social pension, housing support. References Bjerregaard, P. (2004): Folkesundhed i Grønland, Inussuk Arktisk Forskningsjournal 1: 2004. Bjerregaard, P., Dahl-Petersen, I.K. (2008). Befolkningsundersøgelsen i Grønland 2005-2007, Levevilkår, livsstil og helbred, Statens Institut for Folkesundhed. Bjerregaard, P., Aidt, E. C. (2010): Levevilkår, livsstil og helbred, Befolkningsundersøgelsen i Grønland 2005-2009, Statens Institut for Folkesundhed. Hendriksen & Christensen