University of Iceland gets highest grade Skip to content

University of Iceland gets highest grade

According to a recent comparison of universities in Iceland undertaken by the Icelandic National Audit Office, the University of Iceland has the highest academic quality and its operations are also less expensive than at the other Icelandic universities.

The Audit Office compared two state-run and two private universities on 11 points, including the quality of education in economy, law and computer sciences. The state-run University of Iceland scored highest in nine out of 11, Morgunbladid reports.

The private Reykjavík University proved the second most qualified university, the state-run University of Akureyri came third and the private Bifröst University was last.

Biförst University has the highest tuition fees and, according to the Audit Office comparison, students who graduate with a business degree from the university do not have an easy transition into working life.

The rector of Bifröst University, Ágúst Einarsson, said tuition fees are high because a small student-teacher ratio is part of the university’s policy.

It was considered noteworthy that despite the University of Iceland scoring highest in most points of comparison, the law department did not do well. When compared to the other universities, the University of Iceland law department has the lowest number of teachers who hold a PhD.

University of Iceland rector Kristín Ingólfsdóttir said it is now the university’s policy to hire teachers for the law department who hold a PhD degree.

The University of Iceland also had the highest dropout rate, which was 19 to 57 percent in all universities compared between 2003 and 2005.

The Icelandic National Audit Office issued a statement saying the comparison may be skewed on two points; on the one hand the universities are very different so it is difficult to compare them and on the other hand the tools used to measure the comparison are imperfect.

The Icelandic state increased its funding for universities by 39 percent between 2000 and 2005. During that period the number of students increased by 59 percent.

More students are enrolled in private universities in Iceland compared to the other Nordic countries and more study economics and law in Iceland than in the neighboring countries, especially economics.

According to the Audit Office, the government should have a clearer policy on how to fund universities in Iceland.

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