Higher education

There are several academic institutions in Iceland that provide education at the university level:

University of Iceland

The University of Iceland is an internationally renowned research university and operates around 40 research institutes, and research-based graduate studies are also offered. The number of students is currently around 13.000. The university employs a group of well-educated and experienced teachers and scientists; it has a standing tradition for research and collaborates actively with universities and institutions abroad. The University of Iceland was established in 1911. The university is organized into 5 academic schools, and 25 faculties. The university offers diverse program on all levels. The University of Iceland is the only university in Iceland offering undergraduate and graduate studies in all the main disciplines.

Reykjavík University

Reykjavík University was founded in 1998 and is now the second largest university in Iceland with over 3000 students and over 300 employees. The university operates 19 research institutes and five academic departments: School of Business, School of Health and Education, School of Science and Engineering, School of computer Science and School of law. The school puts high emphasis on innovation, technological development, cooperation and active participation in the international community of research and education. The MBA program at Reykjavík University is an intensive two-year general management program with a focus on leadership development. The programme is designed for individuals with an undergraduate degree who want to strenghten their leadership potential as well as gain new analytical skills and management tools. All classes in the MBA program are conducted in English.

University of Akureyri

The University of Akureyri (Háskólinn á Akureyri) is located in North Iceland and has served Akureyri and its rural surrounding since 1987. The university has built a reputation for academic excellence and good industrial relations. The university is divided into three faculties; Faculty of Business and Science, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences and Faculty of Health Sciences. The number of students is around 1800 and members of staff are around 180. The University of Akureyri is a member of the Nordplus Program, the Erasmus Program and the North2North collaboration of universities in circumpolar regions. FThe University of Akureyri offers a selection of courses taught in English, some specially designed for exchange students, such as Icelandic as a Foreign Language, Icelandic Nature and Icelandic History, Culture and Society. The University also offers a unique program in Polar Law taught entirely in English.

Biröst University

Bifröst University was founded in Reykjavík in 1918 on the model of Ruskin College, Oxford, under the name Samvinnuskólinn or the Cooperative College, to educate leaders for business and society. Bifröst was accredited by Iceland's Ministry of Education as a university in 1988. Originally a business school, Bifröst has since added a faculty of law in 2002, and social science in 2005. Reflecting these changes, its name was changed to Bifröst University in 2006. Bifröst is a private, self-governing, non-profit institution. The Bifröst campus is 110 km from the centre of Reykjavík, roughly 90 minutes' driving distance from the capital. Bifröst University offers an undergraduate program in Business fully taught in English in addition to various masters programs.

Agricultural University of Iceland

The Agricultural University of Iceland (AUI) was founded on 1 January 2005. It is an educational and research institution in the field of agriculture and environmental sciences. It is comprised of three faculties: the Faculty of Land and Animal Resources, Faculty of Environmental Sciences and Faculty of Vocational and Continuing Education. The AUI awards B.Sc. degrees in these fields, and is entitled to award both M.Sc. and PhD degrees as well as providing vocational and continuing education. Special natural circumstances in Iceland, such as volcanic activity, special soils affecting the cultivation of agricultural plants, unique races of livestock, sub-arctic and oceanic climate and cold-climate agriculture, means that natural and agricultural sciences in Iceland can be considered unique in many respects. Catastrophic ecosystem degradation, soil erosion and desertification have also shaped Icelandic nature. All these research fields are therefore of international importance. Research and graduate studies in relation to many environmental fields, such as desertification, ecosystem restoration, afforestation and carbon sequestration are all international programs at AUI. Special emphasis is placed on research related to the utilization of unique genetic resources in Icelandic livestock and agricultural plants.

The School for Renewable Energy Science

The School for Renewable Energy Science is an international graduate school devoted to education in renewable energy science and technology. RES is affiliated with both University of Akureyri and University of Iceland, and graduates receive M.Sc. degree diplomas from both partner universities. The M.Sc. Program is also run in partnership with a number of technical universities around the world (RESnet), with the possibilities for joint master degrees. RES offers currently five specializations of study: Geothermal Energy; Hydropower; Fuel Cell Systems & Hydrogen; Biofuels & Bioenergy; and Energy Systems. Other specializations to be offered in the near future include Wind & Wave Power and Solar Energy.

The Iceland Academy of the Arts

The Iceland Academy of the Arts is a self-governing teaching institution providing higher education in visual arts, theatre arts, music, design and architecture. The role of the Iceland Academy of the Arts is to encourage progressive thinking in the arts and to stimulate innovation and development in different fields. 

Hólar University College

Hólar University College is a growing institution offering graduate and undergraduate education and a strong research programme. The institution is an internationally recognised centre for education and research in three highly specialized fields; equine science, aqua-culture and aquatic biology, and tourism studies. Hólar University College aims to enhance knowledge and professionalism in the economic sectors and cultural activities related to its fields of specialisation. 

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