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Iceland

Last edited on 27 Apr 2018
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Welcome to Iceland!

Located in the North Atlantic Ocean right close to the Arctic pole, the country has rather a dramatic nickname, ‘the land of fire and ice’, which refers to its impressive variety of natural features. Iceland is one of the world’s most active volcanic regions, while also having large areas covered in glaciers.

Iceland is a highly developed country with a world-class higher education system. Although Iceland is not a member state of the European Union, it signed the Schengen Agreement. If you plan to study in Iceland, you will benefit from its membership to the Schengen area as you will be able to freely move within Europe.

The country was hit hard by the 2008 global financial crisis, but has seen steady economic recovery since 2010. Recent years have also seen Iceland become increasingly popular as a tourist destination, with travelers enticed both by the stunning natural scenery and the cultural attractions of capital Reykjavík – celebrated for its colorful buildings, vibrant music scene and nightlife.


Education System

The Icelandic educational system is divided into four levels:

Pre-school level: up to 6 years of age

Compulsory school: primary and lower secondary school in a single structure, 6-16 years of age

Upper secondary school: 16-20 years of age

Higher educational: age 19/20 and older

Education in Iceland has traditionally been organised within the public sector, and there are very few private institutions in the school system. Almost all private schools receive public funding.

The Icelandic Parliament is legally and politically responsible for the educational system. It determines its basic objectives and administrative framework. All education comes under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Education, Science and Culture, with the exception of a few specialised schools.

The Icelandic higher educational system dates back to the foundation of University of Iceland in 1911. The University of Iceland remains the principal institution of higher learning in Iceland, but over the last three decades, new institutions of higher education have emerged, and there are currently seven institutions of higher education operating in Iceland.