University of Akureyri


The University of Akureyri (Háskólinn á Akureyri) is located in the capital of north Iceland and has served Akureyri and its rural surrounding for almost 35 years. While building a reputation for academic excellence and good industrial relations, the university has been instrumental in the area’s economic growth and is central in the area’s future planning as a knowledge-based society.

The university was founded in September 1987 and from the beginning the growth of the university has been rapid, with study programs, students and staff constantly increasing in numbers and ranks. Today the university is divided into three schools: School of Business and Science, School of Health Sciences, and School of Humanities and Social Sciences (including Faculty of Law, Faculty of Social Sciences, and Faculty of Education). The University of Akureyri offers a Master‘s programme in Polar Law, taught in English, as well as an LLM and Diploma in Polar Law. Exchange students can select diverse courses that are taught in English, especially within the School of Humanities and Social Sciences. The number of students is around 2.530 and members of staff are around 200.

The University of Akureyri places a great emphasis on research related to arctic issues; e.g. the universities research and development centre is also hosting the Northern Research Forum as well as other arctic emphases. The university is one of the founding members of the UArctic. Since 2011 there has been a special professorship for Arctic matters at the university called the Nansen professorship. The purpose is to strengthen collaboration between Iceland and Norway in the field of Arctic Scientific Research. The university is also affiliated with a lot of research institutions that are located in Akureyri or on the university campus (see:

Facts and figures

Year Established 1987
Total Number of Staff 202
Number of Academic Staff 110
Number of Students 2540
Focus Areas

Polar law
Social science with specialization on Arctic issues
Fishery sciences
West Nordic studies

Web link for international students
Fields of Study Offered Teacher training and education science (broad programmes)
Humanities (broad programmes)
Social and behavioural science (broad programmes)
Journalism and information (broad programmes)
Business and administration (broad programmes)
Law (broad programmes)
Life science (broad programmes)
Agriculture, forestry and fishery (broad programmes)
Health (broad programmes)