Top Iceland Universities for International Students 2023

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Top Iceland Universities for International Students

Iceland is known as the ‘Land of Fire and Ice’ as it is home to the world’s most active volcanoes while simultaneously being covered in glaciers. Icelanders also enjoy a great quality of life, since the nation ranks among the best in the world in terms of peace, healthcare, internet access, and, most crucially, education. The Iceland Universities are known for offering quality education to students for minimal to no tuition fees. Available in Icelandic and English, the courses taught in Iceland universities have bagged high ranks at a global level. Let’s read this blog further to know more about the top Universities in the nation along with other relevant information before you kick start your overseas education journey.

LanguagesEnglish, Icelandic
Total Population3,34,252
International Student Rate5%
Academic YearSeptember – May
CurrencyIcelandic króna (ISK)
Enrollment in higher education(In %)73.1 %
Average Acceptance Rate70- 80%

Top Universities in Iceland

Iceland has seven universities, three of which are private and four of which are public. 

  • The University of Iceland and Reykjavik University, both in the capital, are the largest, followed by the University of Akureyri in Akureyri, in the north.
  • International students account for around 5% of all students in Iceland, and universities are striving to enrol more international and exchange students. 
  • Many universities, particularly the bigger ones, are offering an increasing number of English-taught courses, and there are strong support systems in place for international students who want to study in Iceland.

Also Read: Public Universities in Iceland for International Students

List of 7 Iceland Universities

UniversityTHE RankingLocation
Bifrost UniversityBifröst, Iceland
Holar University CollegeHólar, Iceland
Iceland University of the ArtsReykjavik, Iceland
Reykjavik University#301-350Reykjavik, Iceland
The Agriculture University of IcelandBorgarnes, Iceland
University of AkureyriAkureyri, Iceland
University of Iceland#401-500Reykjavik, Iceland

Reykjavik University

Reykjavik University, located in the capital, is Iceland’s finest university for international students. Teaching and research are the institution’s key purposes, with an emphasis on interdisciplinary collaboration and a hands-on approach. There are seven departments in two schools.

Reykjavik University FacultyDepartment
School of Social ScienceBusiness,
sports science, and
School of Technologycomputer science,
engineering, and
applied engineering

The majority of the programmes are taught in Icelandic. However, many undergraduate courses are offered in English, while Master’s and Ph.D. programmes are entirely taught in English.

University of Iceland

The University of Iceland is Iceland’s biggest and oldest higher education institution. Icelanders regard it as a critical stepping stone towards the country’s independence. The University of Iceland, founded in 1911, offers courses in religion, medicine, and law. After a significant reconstruction in 2008, Iceland’s premier university has grown over the years and is currently divided into five schools. There are numerous English-taught programmes as well as non-English language programmes such as:

University of Akurekyi

Since 1987, the University of Akureyri, one of Iceland’s leading universities for international students, has provided top-notch higher education in Iceland. The university is vibrant and contemporary, being one of the country’s newest universities. The institution is the largest provider of distance education in the country, with over half of its students enrolled in classes delivered through a modern platform. Aside from remote education, the institution also attracts a large number of international students, both through exchange programmes such as Erasmus and Nordplus and ordinary degree-seeking students.

At the University of Akureyri, international students can study a variety of subjects.

It has also established Polar Law and West Nordic Studies programmes with partner institutions to teach students about topics like climate change, boundary disputes, and other societal issues that affect the region.

Bifröst University

Háskólinn á Bifröst, or Bifröst University, is a private university in Iceland that specialises in business administration, law, and social sciences. The institution also offers distance learning programmes, allowing students from all over the world to benefit from an Icelandic education that is both unique and high-quality.

Students who attend the university on a regular basis, on the other hand, benefit from the beautiful scenery of Iceland, as well as effective teaching and ample research possibilities. Along with Hólar University College, Bifröst is one of the two campus universities. It has high-end on-campus housing, libraries, sports and recreational facilities, and a welcoming atmosphere for international students.

Iceland University of the Arts

The Iceland University of the Arts is a private university and is the only one in Iceland that offers university-level arts degrees. It promotes innovative thinking in the arts sector in order to encourage innovation in a variety of disciplines. Design & architecture, fine arts, music, theatre and dance, and art education are the five departments from which students can pick their degree. Curiosity, understanding, and bravery are the values that guide these programmes, as well as all of the university’s activities.

This Icelandic leading university is involved in international collaborations as well as bilateral partnerships through the Erasmus and NordPlus programmes. It also has significant industrial ties both nationally and internationally, and international students are at the forefront of Iceland’s art scene. The Iceland Symphony Orchestra, the Iceland Dance Company, the State Broadcasting Service, and many more prominent cultural groups are all affiliated with the IUA.

Cost of Study in Iceland Universities

One of the perks of studying in Iceland is that most of the universities don’t charge any tuition fees. However, the universities charge a registration fee that is around ISK 8,000 (4,450 INR). The private universities in Iceland do charge tuition fees but it is fairly minimal.

Study LevelTuition Fees in ISKTuition Fees in INR
Undergraduate8,56,678 – 15,98,5675,05,888 – 9,43,990
Postgraduate6, 51,656 – 24,11,874384817 – 14,24,267

Application Process to Study in Ireland

There is no admission portal for Iceland universities. You have to apply directly to the university. The application process is simple.

  • Select the course & university – The first step is to choose the course you want to pursue & the university you want to study in. Research the program you are interested in, its core syllabus, duration & universities offering that particular course.
  • Check eligibility – After selecting the course, the next step is to check your eligibility. Every university has a different standard of eligibility for admission into various courses. Gather all the documents required for registration & admission.
  • Fill Application Form – After checking the eligibility of the course, fill out an application form. There is no common admission portal for admission, you have to apply to the official university website. Here’s how you can fill out the application form.
    • Visit the official website of the university.
    • Click on the admission tab, it will redirect you to another page.
    • Enter your email address & create your account.
    • Enter your login information, username & password.
    • You have to fill in your personal information (Name, age, date of birth, contact address) & educational background.
    • You can also add employment details if you have any.
    • Upload the required documents.
    • Pay the application fee to complete the process.
    • You can also track the progress of your application by logging into your university admission account.

Documents Required for Application Form

There are some documents that you will be required to fill out the application form. Keep a scanned copy of the papers for uploading in your application form.

Source: NowThis Original


What is it Like to Study at an Iceland University?

Iceland has seven officially approved institutions that offer higher education in nearly every field. In technology and health, as well as specialist degrees like the arts, literature, and polar studies, these universities are at the top.

Since the majority of these colleges are state-run, neither EU nor non-EU citizens are required to pay tuition costs, simply the nominal registration fees. Although Icelandic is the primary language of teaching, several courses are also given in English, the country’s second language.

Can International Students Work in Iceland While They Study?

In Iceland, international students are permitted to work while pursuing their degrees. However, depending on their country, the number of hours they are allowed to work may differ. Students with EEA/ EFTA citizenship do not need to get a work permit in order to work. Non-EEA/EFTA nationals, on the other hand, must apply for a special work permit and are only allowed to work for 15 hours a week.

Can International Students Stay in Iceland after Graduation?

Citizens of the European Economic Area and the European Free Trade Association (EEA/EFTA) can easily relocate to Iceland if they can prove that they can financially support themselves and their dependents. Non-EEA/EFTA students who have finished their studies in Iceland can extend their stay for another six (6) months from the date of graduation. They might search for work in their field of expertise during this time. Overseas graduates must first obtain work with an Icelandic firm before applying for residence with the immigration service.

What is the Duration of Courses Offered by Iceland Universities?

In Iceland, a Bachelor’s degree takes four or five years of study, depending on whether you do it in daytime or evening studies. A Master’s degree takes two years and is completed after three semesters. A Postgraduate degree is the equivalent of an MPhil in the UK and an MA elsewhere. A Doctorate is the highest academic qualification available in Iceland and requires three to four years of study plus a major research project/thesis

What is the Cost of Studying at Iceland Universities?

Rough estimates of living costs for a single person: Housing, including utilities: typically 100,000 ISK/month and upwards. Food and daily expenses: 50,000 ISK/month(INR-29171.5000) and upwards. Books and other study materials: 40,000 ISK/semester and upwards.

Which Language is used in Iceland?

The official and national language of Iceland is Icelandic. If you are fluent in English, then there will not be a problem while communicating.

With most of its universities charging no or negligible tuition fees, students from all around the globe are applying to study in Iceland.  If you are aspiring for higher studies in Iceland & need help with the application process or anything else, reach out to our Leverage Edu experts and counsellors and we will guide you at every step of the way from finding the right course to university to kickstarting the admission process and ensuring that you get successfully shortlisted.

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