University of Iceland

The University of Iceland was founded on 17th June 1911, on the centenary of 19th century Icelandic statesman Jón Sigurðsson, usually referred to as president. The university was located in the Parliament House at Austurvöllur for the first 29 years. The University of Iceland was formed in a merger of the Seminary, the School of Medicine and the School of Law, which each formed a faculty, in addition to the newly-established Faculty of Philosophy.
 
Only 45 students, one of which was female, were enrolled during the academic year 1911 to 1912; the academic year 2013 to 2014 will see almost fourteen thousand students, around two thirds of which are female, studying at the University of Iceland. The university offers a variety of academic programmes on the undergraduate, graduate and doctoral levels.
 
The university relocated to the Main Building at Suðurgata in 1940. The university´s facilities have grown considerably since then; the newest addition to the campus is the University Centre, which was taken into use on 1st December 2007.
 
A new structure and governance system for the University of Iceland came into force on 1st July 2008. At the same time the university merged with Iceland University of Education on its centenary. The new University of Iceland has five academic schools, each comprised of a number of faculties. The academic schools are the School of Education, the School of Engineering and Natural Sciences, the School of Health Sciences, the School of Humanities and the School of Social Sciences. In addition the university operates a number of research and service institutions.
 
The Rector of the University of Iceland is Jón Atli Benediktsson, Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering.
 
Vision and Strategy
 
The University of Iceland aims to be one of the world’s leading universities and apply approved standards to all quality assurance of its operations. The university holds itself and its lecturers, management and other staff to high standards. High demands are also made of students; this ensures that a degree from the University of Iceland is considered to be of high quality and is trusted all over the world.
 
Ambitious goals
 
In 2006, the University of Iceland set itself the ambitious long-term goal to become one of the 100 leading universities in the world. In order to achieve that goal, the university intends to focus on outstanding research, teaching and support services. The university now works purposefully towards implementing this strategy, and has already enjoyed great success. The university applies rigorous internal quality assurance measures to all its operations. External assessment regularly shows that the university is fully in line with international standards.
 
Policy on important issues
 
All faculties and units within the university abide by policies and goals which the university community has established in relation to many key issues. Any policy is discussed in the academic schools and faculties, at the University General Forum and in the University Council, in addition to which various committees consider individual cases. This process ensures the involvement of the entire university community, i.e. students, lecturers and staff.

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