Icelandic Universities Report Application Increases Skip to content

Icelandic Universities Report Application Increases

By Ragnar Tómas

Háskóli Íslands University of Iceland
Photo: Golli. The University of Iceland.

University applications in Iceland increased significantly this year, with notable growth in health, education, and science fields. The University of Akureyri, Iceland University of the Arts, Bifröst University, Reykjavik University, and the University of Iceland all reported record or substantial increases in applications.

STEAM fields popular

Applications increased at most universities in Iceland this year, according to the government’s website. Notable growth occurred in the fields of health, education, and science, according to application data from the universities, whose enrollment deadline for the upcoming fall semester ended earlier this month.

“We are very pleased to see this increase in university applications, especially in the STEAM fields (science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics). The increase indicates that our ministry’s initiatives are working, and more people are recognising the opportunities a university education provides,” Áslaug Arna Sigurbjörnsdóttir, Minister of Higher Education, Industry, and Innovation, is quoted as saying.

Read More: What are the top university programmes in Iceland

Record number of applications

The University of Akureyri saw a 7% rise in applications from last year, with nearly a 20% increase since 2022. Applications to its nursing programme rose by 11%, and its teacher education programme saw a 22% increase. The biotechnology programme, unique to the University of Akureyri, also received a record number of applications, according to the government’s website.

Record numbers of applications were also reported by the Iceland University of the Arts and Bifröst University. Both institutions saw significant increases in applications after accepting an offer from the Minister of Higher Education for full state funding in exchange for the abolition of tuition fees. Bifröst University received nearly 1,500 applications, a threefold increase from the previous year.

The Iceland University of the Arts experienced the largest growth in its art education department, with applications nearly tripling, alongside significant increases in its design and visual arts departments.

Reykjavik University also received a record number of applications, with an almost equal gender distribution, though slightly more men applied (53%). Applications to the engineering department increased by 16% and to the industrial and technical sciences department by 10%.

The University of Iceland saw a 10% increase in applications from last year, with even higher growth in its engineering and natural sciences programmes. Applications to various engineering disciplines increased by nearly 34% in electrical and computer engineering and by almost 43% in environmental and civil engineering.

There was also strong interest in programmes related to primary school teaching, pedagogy, and health sciences at the University of Iceland. For instance, 270 individuals registered for the entrance exam for medical school, with 75 students being admitted, 15 more than in previous years.

Sign up for our weekly newsletter

Get news from Iceland, photos, and in-depth stories delivered to your inbox every week!

* indicates required

Subscribe to Iceland Review

In-depth stories and high-quality photography showcasing life in Iceland!