History of the VERA Centre 

The Joensuu campus has a long tradition of studying the Karelian region, both in Northwestern Russia and in Eastern Finland. The Karelian Institute’s expertise in Karelia’s history, culture and society has served as the basis for UEF’s comparative research on borders and border regions.

Since the 1990s the university has also increasingly focused its research and teaching on Russia, most notably on the Russian linguistic and cultural aspects. It is VERA’s role to coordinate the existing achievements of the university in Border and Russian studies so as to further develop them on national and international scales.

The idea of VERA Centre for Russian and Border Studies was initiated in the late 2010 as a long-term strategic project of the University of Eastern Finland. The idea was supported by the Regional Council of North Karelia, which is funding the VERA project in addition to the European Social Fund.