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Home / Library / Analytics / Educational systems in other countries /

Iceland



Iceland

Structure of Educational System
Pre-higher Education System
Higher Education System
Administrative structure of higher education
Admissions to Higher Education and Recognition

INSTITUTION TYPES CREDENTIALS
Types of higher education institutions:
Haskoli (University)
Kennarahaskoli (University of Education)
Taekniskoli (Technical College)
Taekniskolar og Serskolar (College)
Listahaskoli (Academy of Arts)

School leaving and higher education credentials:
Studentsprof
Baccalaureatus
Baccalaureatus Artium
Baccalaureatus Educationis
Baccalaureatus Philologiae Islandicae
Baccalaureatus Scientiarum
Candidatus
Meistaraprof
Doktorsprof

STRUCTURE OF EDUCATION SYSTEM
Pre-higher education:
Duration of compulsory education:
Age of entry: 6
Age of exit: 16
Structure of school system:
Basic
Type of school providing this education: Grunnskoli (Compulsory School)
Length of program in years: 10
Age level from: 6 to: 16
Certificate/diploma awarded: Grunnskolaprof Certificate
Upper Secondary
Type of school providing this education: Menntaskoli/fjolbrautarskoli (Grammar School)
Length of program in years: 4
Age level from: 16 to: 20
Certificate/diploma awarded: Studentsprof
Technical
Type of school providing this education: Technical Secondary School
Length of program in years: 4
Age level from: 16 to: 20
Certificate/diploma awarded: Sveinsprof
School education:
Basic education lasts for ten years leading to the Grunnskolaprof Certificate. Upper secondary education covers four years and is open to anyone who has completed compulsory school. Courses lead to the Studentsprof. Secondary vocational education is offered by the upper secondary comprehensive schools (fjolbrautaskolar), industrial vocational schools (i?nmenntaskolar) and specialized vocational schools (serskolar). Students can either train for the certified trades or follow vocational training in such fields as Agriculture, the Fishing Industry, the Food Production Industry or Health and Commerce.
Higher education:
The higher education system in Iceland consists of two types of higher education institutions: Universities and Colleges. The Ministry of Education is responsible for the development of higher education. The schools of agriculture come under the responsibility of the Ministry of Agriculture. At the University of Iceland, the University Council is the highest governing body. It also presents matters to the Parliament or to Government Ministries for reform consideration and funding purposes. Two laws were passed in December 1997. The first sets the main framework for the operation of higher education institutions. Their independence is being reinforced and they are being made more accountable. The second allows for the merging of the College for Pre-School teachers, the College of Physical Education and the College of Social Pedagogy with the existing Iceland University of Education. The Iceland University of Education has been fully operational since the autumn of 1998. The Iceland Academy of the Arts was established in 1998 according to a law passed in 1995. The Academy was created when three institutions, Leiklistarskoli Islands (The Icelandic Drama School), Myndlista-og handi?askoli Islands (the Icelandic College of Arts and Crafts) and Tonlistarskolinn i Reykjavik (The Reykjavik School of Music) merged into one institution.
Main laws/decrees governing higher education:
Decree: Law on Higher Education Institutions Year: 1997
Concerns: Higher education institutions
Decree: Law on the Iceland University of Education Year: 1997
Concerns: Iceland University of Education
Academic year:
Classes from: Sep to: May
Languages of instruction: English, Icelandic
Stages of studies:
Non-university level post-secondary studies (technical/vocational type):
Non-university level:
Higher technical/vocational education is offered by Colleges (Taekniskolar og Serskolar). There may be a number of specific requirements for entrance, depending upon the courses chosen. They offer Diplomas and Degrees after two to three years' study in Computer Studies, Management and Civil and Electrical Engineering.

University level studies:
University level first stage: Diploma/Certificate, Baccalaureatus/Candidatus:
At the University of Iceland one-and-a-half or two year Diploma/Certificate programmes are offered in Engineering, Management, Marketing, Business Administration, Travel and Tourism, Computer Science, Economics and Languages. The University of Akureyri offers two-year Diploma/Certificate programmes in Industrial management. At the Icelandic College of Engineering and Technology one-and-a-half or two-year Diploma/Certificate programmes are offered in Industrial Business Administration, Construction Techniques, Electronic Techniques and Mechanical Techniques. The Bifrost Business School offers a two-year Diploma/Certificate programme in Business and Management. At the University of Reykjavik two-year Diploma/Certificate courses are offered in Business Administration and Applied Computing. The BA Degree is awarded to students who have completed three to four years programme of study in Humanities, Theology, Social Sciences or Art and have completed a final thesis or a research project. The BS Degree is awarded to students who have completed a three to four-and-a-half year Degree course in Economics, Management or Business Administration, a Science subject, Nursing, Occupational Therapy, Physiotherapy, Medicine, Agricultural Science, Health Sciences or Technical Engineering subjects, and who have passed the prescribed examinations and completed the final thesis or research project. The Candidatus Degree is only offered at the University of Iceland and qualifies holders for a special office or profession. It is an academic/professional degree and is conferred in Theology, Medicine, Pharmacy, Law, Business Administration, Engineering and Dentistry. The Candidatus/Candidata is followed by the Latin title for the relevant field.
University level second stage: Meistaraprof:
At the University of Iceland Master programmes (generally lasting two years) are offered in Biomedicine, Economics, Danish, English, Icelandic Literature, Icelandic Language, Icelandic Studies, History, Engineering, Physics, Geophysics, Chemistry, Biochemistry, Food Science, Biology, Geology, Geography, Library and Information Science, Sociology, Social Anthropology, Psychology, Political Science, Pedagogy, Theology, Nursing, Business Administration, Marine Sciences, Environmental Science, Literature, Philosophy, Mathematics, History of Science, Computer Science and Education. The Iceland University of Education offers a Master programme in Education with specialization in one of the following areas: Pedagogy, Special Education, Administration and Didactics. The University of Akureyri offers a Master's programme in Nursing and the Iceland Academy of Arts offers a Master's programme in Graphic Arts. At the University of Iceland one year Post-Graduate Diploma programmes are offered in the following areas: Mathematics, Physics/Geophysics, Biochemistry, Biology, Geology/Geography, Journalism and Mass Communication, Educational Counselling and Food science. One-year programmes leading to certification are offered in Social Work, Teacher Education for upper secondary schools, Library and Information Science and Deacon studies. At the Iceland University of Education one-year Post-Graduate Diploma programmes are offered in Teacher Education for upper secondary schools and Management. At the University of Akureyri one-year Post-Graduate Diploma programmes are offered in Teacher Education for upper secondary schools and Quality Management.
University level third stage: Doktorsprof:
The Doctoral Degree (dr.phi./Ph.D - doktorsgra?) is awarded by the University of Iceland in Medicine, Pharmacy, Icelandic Literature, Icelandic Language, History, Engineering and Natural Sciences to those who have successfully completed a Doctorate programme and defended a doctoral thesis. The pre-requisite for admission into this programme is a Bachelor's Degree, Master's Degree or a Candidatus professional degree. The duration of the Doctoral programme is three to five years and is mainly a research programme. There are both obligatory courses and courses to be selected by the student and approved by the supervisor. One year is devoted to obligatory studies and research abroad at a University recognized by the Faculty. There is also another type of Doctoral Degree at the University of Iceland which is not awarded after a taught or preplanned programme. It is the result of intensive independent research and is awarded after defence of a doctoral thesis. As a general rule, this Doctoral Degree can only be awarded to those who have completed a Candidatus professional Degree, a Master Degree or equivalent education.

Teacher education:
Training of pre-primary and primary/basic school teachers
The BEd Degree is awarded to students who have completed a three-year Degree course in Teacher Education, Physical Education, Social Pedagogy and Pre-school Education at the Iceland University of Education or Teacher Education and Pre-school Education at the University of Akureyri. It entitles holders to teach at the compulsory school level.
Training of secondary school teachers
Teachers in secondary schools generally have university degrees and follow a Post-Graduate course in Education at the University of Iceland. The latter provides courses in Educational Theory and Psychology but little in the way of instruction in teaching methods and curriculum studies. At the University of Iceland, there is a one-year programme that qualifies teachers who hold a BA or BSc Degree to teach both at the compulsory and at the upper secondary level.
Training of higher education teachers
Higher education teachers are trained in Universities and they advance in the academic hierarchy according to the Diplomas and Degrees obtained.

NATIONAL BODIES
Administration & co-ordination:
Responsible authorities:
Ministry of Education, Science and Culture (Menntamalara?uneyti?)
Head: Tomas Ingi Olrich, Minister
Administrative officer: Gudridur Sigurdardottir, Secretary-General
International relations: Solrun Jensdottir, Director for International Relations
Solvholsgotu 4
150 Reykjavik
Iceland
Tel: +354 560-9500
Fax: +354 562-3068
EMail: postur@mrn.stjr.is
WWW: http://www.mrn.stjr.is

Standing Committee of the Rectors of Icelandic Higher Education Institutions
Head: Pall Skulason, Rector
Administrative officer: Thordur Kristinsson, Director of Academic Affairs
University of Iceland, 0ffice of the Rector, Sudurgata
101 Reykjavik
Iceland
Tel: +354 525-4302
Fax: +354 525-4038
EMail: thordrkri@hi.is

ADMISSIONS TO HIGHER EDUCATION
Admission to non university higher education studies
Name of secondary school credential required: Studentsprof
For entry to: Technical and vocational courses
Other admission requirements:
For some vocational studies at colleges additional work experience may be required.
Admission to university-level studies
Name of secondary school credential required: Studentsprof
For entry to: all higher education Institutions
Alternatives to credentials: A foreign equivalent of a secondary-school-leaving Certificate can be accepted as an entrance requirement.
Other admission requirements: At the University of Iceland competetive examinations are held in the Faculty of Medicine, and in the Faculty of Dentistry at the end of the first semester. The number of students who are allowed to continue after this examination is limited. In these three, students who pass examinations in all subjects of the first semester of the first year are ranked and the thirty students with the highest grade pass in Medicine, sixty in Nursing, eighteen in Physiotherapy, and six in Dentistry. Competitive examinations are also held at the University of Akureyri.
Foreign students admission
Definition of foreign student: A foreign student is a person enrolled at an Institution of higher education in Iceland, country of which he or she is not a permanent resident.
Quotas: With the exception of the University of Iceland and the University at Akureyri, Icelandic Institutions of higher education limit their intake of students each year.
Admission requirements: The minimum qualification required of foreign students is a pass in the final examination of a Scandinavian or European type of upper secondary education. In general, students must possess the necessary qualifications to enter a university in their respective countries.
Entry regulations: Foreign students entering Iceland from non-Nordic countries must submit documents proving that they have been admitted to an Icelandic Institution of higher education and evidence that they are financially self-sufficient. They must also register with the Immigration Office.
Health requirements: Students from non-Nordic countries should make arrangements for health insurance before they leave their home countries.
Language requirements: Students must have a good knowledge of Icelandic. Courses are arranged for foreign students at the University of Iceland.
Application procedures:
Apply to individual institution for entry to: All higher education institutions and programmes.
Application closing dates:
For university level studies: 15 Mar
Recognition of studies & qualifications:
Studies pursued in home country (System of recognition/accreditation): Recognition of studies completed and credentials awarded in Iceland is the responsibility of the institution of higher education concerned.
Studies pursued in foreign countries (bodies dealing with recognition of foreign credentials):
Academic recognition Information Centre
Head: Thordur Kristinsson, Director
Administrative officer: Gisli Fannberg
University of Iceland, Office for Academic Affairs, Sudurgata
101 Reykjavik
Iceland
Tel: +354 525-4360
Fax: +354 525-4317
EMail: gf@hi.is; thordkri@rhi.hi.is

Deals with credential recognition for entry to: University and Profession
Services provided & students dealt with: Recognition of studies completed and credentials awarded in foreign countries.

Office of International Education, University of Iceland
Head: Karitas Kvaran, Director
Neshaga 16
107 Reykjavik
Iceland
Tel: +354 525-4311
Fax: +354 525-5850
EMail: karitaski@hi.is

Services provided & students dealt with: Serves as a documentation centre for the Academic Recognition Information Centre

Other information sources on recognition of foreign studies: Foreign Doctoral Degrees are recognized by the state accrediting agencies and by the Universities.
Special provisions for recognition:
For access to university level studies: Recognition of foreign Certificates and Degrees are usually dealt with on an individual basis by the Institution in question. The minimum entrance requirement for foreign students applying for admission to an Icelandic University is a pass in their School Leaving Certificate from a Scandinavian secondary school or European equivalent. Students from USA must have completed the sophomore year of a Liberal Arts College programme.
Multilateral agreements concerning recognition of foreign studies
Name of agreement: Convention On the Recognition of Studies, Diplomas and Degrees Concerning Higher Education in the States Belonging To the Europe Region
Year of signature: 1979
References to further information on foreign student admissions and recognition of studies
Title: Higher Education Institutions in Iceland - Directory
Publisher: Office of International Education
Title: The education system in Iceland
Publisher: Ministry of Education and Culture

STUDENT LIFE
Main student services at national level
Office of International Education, University of Iceland
Neshaga 16
107 Reykjavik
Iceland
Tel: +354 525-4311
Fax: +354 525-5850

Category of services provided: Academic and career counselling services

National student associations and unions
Icelandic Student Services (Felagsstofnun studenta)
v/ Hringbraut
IS-101 Reykjavik
Iceland

Health/social provisions
Social security for home students: Yes
Social security for foreign students: Yes
Student expenses and financial aid
Student costs:
Home students tuition fees: Maximum: 25000 (Iceland Krona)
Type of financial aid available:
Scholarships/grants/fellowships:
Higher vocational/technical studies:
Home: No
Foreign: No
First Degree studies:
Home: No
Foreign: No
Advanced/doctoral studies:
Home: Yes
Foreign: Yes
Loans:
Higher vocational/technical studies:
Home: Yes
Foreign: Yes
First degree studies:
Home: Yes
Foreign: Yes
Advanced/doctoral studies:
Home: Yes
Foreign: Yes
Bodies providing information on student financial aid:
Icelandic Government Student Loan Fund (Lanasjodur islenskra namsmanna)
Borgartun 21
IS-105 Reykjavik
Iceland

Deals with: Loans
Category of students: Foreign students who are not supported financially by their own countries may be eligible for a loan from the loan fund if Icelandic students have comparable rights in their home country.
Ministry of Education, Science and Culture ( Menntamalaraduneytid)
Solvholsgotu 4
IS-150 Reykjavik
Iceland
Tel: +354 560-9500
Fax: +354 562-3068
EMail: postur@mrn.stjr.is solrun.jensdottir@mrn.stjr.is
WWW: http://www.mrn.stjr.is

Deals with: Grants
Category of students: Foreign Students of Icelandic Language and Literature at University of Iceland
Publications on student services and financial aid:
Title: Scholarships in Icelandic Studies
Publisher: Ministry of Education and Culture
Title: Study Abroad 2000-2001
Publisher: UNESCO/IBE
Year of publication: 1999

INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION & EXCHANGES
Principal national bodies responsible for dealing with international cooperation and exchanges in higher education:
Ministry of Education, Science and Culture (Menntamalaraduneytid)
Head: Gudridur Sigurdardottir, Secretary-General
International relations: Solrun Jensdottir, Director for International Relations
Solvolsgotu 4
IS-150 Reykjavik
Iceland
Tel: +354 560-9500
Fax: +354 562-3068
EMail: solrun.jensdottir@mrn.stjr.is
WWW: http://www.mrn.stjr.is

GRADING SYSTEM
Usual grading system in secondary school
Full Description: 0-10
Highest on scale: 10
Pass/fail level: 5
Lowest on scale: 0
Main grading system used by higher education institutions
Full Description: Numerical grading system from 0 to 10.
Highest on scale: 10
Pass/fail level: 5
Lowest on scale: 0

NOTES ON HIGHER EDUCATION SYSTEM

Data for academic year: 2001-2002
Source: Icelandic Academic Recognition Information Centre, Reykjavik, 2001



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