The University of New England is partnering with two Icelandic universities to build its reach in the North Atlantic and Arctic.

UNE announced the partnership with University of Akureyri (pronounced ah-KEE’-air-ee) and Holar (HOE’-lahr) University College. It was signed during last week’s 2016 Arctic Circle Assembly.

Officials with UNE say the partnership will help grow new undergraduate exchange programs, develop international masters’ degree programs and foster cooperation on marine research.

UNE vice president Anouar Majid says Iceland is the “gateway to a part of the world that is getting a lot of attention” on the world stage.

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