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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:

Háskóli (University)

Kennaraháskóli (University of Education)

Landbúnadarháskóli (Agricultural University)

Listaháskóli (Academy of Arts)

 

School leaving and higher education credentials:

Stúdentspróf

Diploma/Certificate

Baccalaureatus

Candidatus

Postgraduate diploma

Meistarapróf

Doktorspróf

 

 

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: Grunnskólapróf Certificate

Upper Secondary

Type of school providing this education: Menntaskóli/fjölbrautaskóli (Grammar School)

Length of program in years: 4

Age level from: 16 to: 20

Certificate/diploma awarded: Stúdentspróf

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: Sveinspróf

School education:

Basic education lasts for ten years leading to the Grunnskólapróf Certificate. Upper secondary education covers four years and is open to anyone who has completed compulsory school. Courses lead to the Studentspróf. Secondary vocational education is offered by the upper secondary comprehensive schools (fjölbrautaskólar), industrial vocational schools (iđnmenntaskólar) and specialized vocational schools (sérskólar). 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. Students in vocational programmes have the possibility of taking additional studies to complete the Stúdentspróf.

Higher education:

Higher education in Iceland is regulated by Law no 136/1997, Laws on Universities. Under the law, the Icelandic term "háskóli" is used to refer to both traditional universities and institutions which do not have research responsibilities. The law does not make a distinction between universities and non-universities. According to the law, the Minister of Education, Science and Culture determines whether and to what extent institutions will engage in research and he is responsible for establishing rules on quality evaluation and recognition of all degrees that are offered. At present, there are eight "háskóli" in Iceland. Three are private but are run with state support.

Main laws/decrees governing higher education:

Decree: Law on Higher Education Institutions Year: 1997

Concerns: Higher education institutions

Academic year:

Classes from: Aug to: May

Languages of instruction: English, Icelandic

Stages of studies:

 

University level studies:

University level first stage: Diploma/Certificate, Baccalaureatus:

One- to two-year diploma courses are offered in languages, recreational studies, technology and engineering. Bachelor degrees (B.A., B.S., B.Ed, B.F.A., B.Mus) are awarded to students who have satisfactorily completed 3 to 4 years of study (90-120 credits) in a degree programme in the fields of humanities, theology, social sciences, education, special education, economics, business administration, natural sciences, health subjects, fishery studies, agricultural science, technology, engineering, pre-school teaching, compulsory school teaching, social pedagogy, fine arts, law and arts and crafts. Bachelor degrees do not usually confer professional certification, except for nursing (B.S.); physiotherapy (B.S.); deacon studies (B.A.), radiography (B.S.), medical laboratory technology (B.S.), social work (B.A.), and compulsory school teachers (B.ED.). The Bachelor degree constitutes a formal qualification for post-graduate study.

University level second stage: Postgraduate diploma; Candidatus; Meistaraprof:

Postgraduate diplomas qualify the holder for a special office or profession and are conferred after one to two years' postgraduate study after the Bachelor's degree. The Candidatus degree (kandidatsgraad) qualifies the holder for a special office or profession. It is an academic/professional degree in the fields of theology, medicine, agricultural science, pharmacy, midwifery, law, psychology and dentistry. The Candidatus programmes last from four to six years in one-tier programmes, but for one year after a Bachelor degree in agricultural science and two years after a Bachelor degree in midwifery and psychology. Master's degrees (M.A., M.S., M.Ed, M.L.; M.B.A., M.P.A., M.P.H.; M.Paed-meistaragrada) are awarded after one-and-a-half or two years' successful completion of post-graduate study in the fields of theology, health sciences, humanities, law, economics, business administration, social sciences, education, natural sciences, engineering, medicine, dentistry, nursing, fishery studies and environmental studies. A major thesis or research project usually constitutes a substantial part of the master programme.

University level third stage: Doktorspróf:

The Doctorate degree (dr.phil., dr.odeont., /Ph.D - doktorsgrada) is awarded to those who have successfully completed a doctorate programme and defended a doctoral thesis in Icelandic literature, Icelandic language, and Icelandic history,  theology, law, medicine, nursing; health sciences, pharmacy, dentistry, engineering, natural sciences, education and social sciences. There is also another type of Doctoral degree  which 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. 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, a one-year programme 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. They must have completed at least a Master's degree or have equivalent knowledge and experience.

 

 

NATIONAL BODIES

Administration & co-ordination:

Responsible authorities:

Menntamálaráđuneytiđ (Ministry of Education, Science and Culture)

Head: Thorgedur Katrín Gunnarsdóttir, Minister

Administrative officer: Gudmundur Arnason, Secretary-General

International relations: Solrun Jensdottir, Director of Education

Sölvhólsgötu 4
150 Reykjavik
Iceland

Tel: +354 5459500

Fax: +354 5623068

EMail: solrun.jensdottir@mrn.stjr.is

WWW: http://www.mrn.stjr.is

 

 

Standing Committee of the Rectors of Icelandic Higher Education Institutions

Head: Kristín Ingólfsdóttir, Rector

Administrative officer: Thordur Kristinsson, Director,  Academic Affairs

International relations: Karitas Kvaran, Director

University of Iceland, 0ffice of the Rector, Sudurgata
101 Reykjavík
Iceland

Tel: +354 5254302

Fax: +354 5254038

EMail: thordrkri@hi.is

WWW: http://www.hi.is

 

 

 

ADMISSIONS TO HIGHER EDUCATION

Admission to non university higher education studies

Name of secondary school credential required: Stúdentspróf

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: Stúdentspróf

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: In addition to the general admission requirements (stúdentspróf), individual universities or faculties may have specific requirements. At the University of Iceland competitive examinations are held in the Faculty of Nursing, 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 medicine and physiotherapy there are entrance examinations and a limited number of students with the highest grades are allowed to enter the programmes. Competitive examinations are also held at the University of Akureyri.

Foreign students admission

Definition of foreign student: Foreign students are persons enrolled at a higher education institution in Iceland, a country of they are not a permanent resident.

Quotas: With the exception of the University of Iceland and the University at Akureyri, Icelandic higher education institutions 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 and non-EU countries must submit documents proving that they have been admitted to an Icelandic higher education institution and evidence that they are financially self-sufficient. They must also register with the Immigration Office.

Health requirements: Students from non-Nordic and non-EU 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 higher education concerned. In 2003, the five Nordic ENIC/NARIC offices (Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden) established a regional network named Nordic National Recognition Information Centres (NORRIC) to initiate joint Nordic projects to learn from each other and reduce barriers to the recognition of foreign qualifications in the Nordic region (www.norric.org).

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 Reykjavík
Iceland

Tel: +354 5254360

Fax: +354 5254317

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 5254311

Fax: +354 5255850

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 is 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 the 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, Science and Culture

 

STUDENT LIFE

Main student services at national level

Office of International Education, University of Iceland

Neshaga 16
107 Reykjavik
Iceland

Tel: +354 5254311

Fax: +354 5255850

 

Category of services provided: Academic and career counselling services

 

National student associations and unions

Félagsstofnun stúdenta (Icelandic Student Services)

v/ Hringbraut
IS-101 Reykjavík
Iceland

EMail: fs@fs.is

WWW: http://www.fs.is/

 

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: Minimum: 45000 (Iceland Krona)

Maximum: 500000 (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:

Lánasjódur íslenskra námsmanna (Icelandic Government Student Loan Fund)

Borgartún 21
IS-105 Reykjavík
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.

Menntamáláraduneytid (Ministry of Education, Science and Culture)

Sölvhólsgötu 4
IS-150 Reykjavik
Iceland

Tel: +354 5609500

Fax: +354 5623068

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, Science and Culture

Title: Study Abroad 2004-2005, 32nd Edition

Author: UNESCO

Publisher: UNESCO Publishing

Year of publication: 2003

 

INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION & EXCHANGES

Principal national bodies responsible for dealing with international cooperation and exchanges in higher education:

Menntamáláraduneytid (Ministry of Education, Science and Culture)

International relations: Solrun Jensdottir, Director of Education

Sölvólsgötu 4
IS-150 Reykjavik
Iceland

Tel: +354 5459500

Fax: +354 5623068

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: 2005-2006

Source: IAU from ENIC/NARIC Office for Iceland, 2006



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