In addition to Laurea's staff, a group of ten students from the Master's Degree Programme in Crisis and Special Situation Management participated in the Barents Rescue 2015 exercise and act as evaluators of the exercise. A thesis analysing the validity of the evaluation model will also be completed in connection with the exercise.

Students of the Degree Programme in Crisis and Special Situation Management mainly work in the field of social services and health care. At Laurea, the aim is to include participation in a practical major rescue exercise in the studies of this degree programme. Taking part in the Barents Rescue exercise offered students an opportunity to familiarise themselves with preparation and implementation of an extensive major rescue exercise in practice.

- Special situation management is best learned when students participate in a realistic exercise situation. It is only in a major exercise that it is possible to understand the importance of collaboration between the different authorities, says one of the members of the evaluation working group, Principal Lecturer Jorma Jokela from Laurea University of Applied Sciences.

- In an exercise like this, students also have an excellent opportunity to network and familiarise themselves with international cooperation.

In this exercise in Kittilä, special attention was paid to the evaluation of the actions and the implementation of the set objectives. Participation in the Barents Rescue 2015 exercise provided Laurea with a lot of valuable experience and data related to evaluating a major rescue exercise. In future, this information can be utilised in teaching, projects and research.