Top universities in Iceland for international students

Top universities in Iceland

Iceland has a long history of education and is known for its high quality. Thanks to this, some of the universities in Iceland offer English-taught courses. The country 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. The native people also enjoy an excellent quality of life since the nation ranks among the best in the world regarding peace, healthcare, internet access, and, most crucially, education. So, the Iceland Universities provide quality education to students for minimal to no tuition fees. 

List of Seven Iceland Universities

University THE Ranking Location
Bifrost University Bifröst, Iceland
Holar University College Hólar, Iceland
Iceland University of the Arts Reykjavik, Iceland
Reykjavik University #301-350 Reykjavik, Iceland
The Agriculture University of Iceland Borgarnes, Iceland
University of Akureyri Akureyri, Iceland
University of Iceland #401-500 Reykjavik, Iceland


University of Iceland

The University of Iceland (UoI) is a public research university in Reykjavík, Iceland. It was founded on the 17th of June 1919 and is the country’s largest institution of higher education by enrollment. It has 5,400 undergraduate students and 3,100 graduate students. So, the University of Iceland offers some 37 master’s programs in various fields such as business administration, law, health sciences and engineering.

So, it is the only university in Iceland, but other universities offer distance learning courses to Icelandic citizens through UoI’s Open Campus initiative.

Reykjavik University

Reykjavik University is situated in the capital and is Iceland’s finest university for international students. Teaching and research are the primary purposes of the institution, with an emphasis on interdisciplinary collaboration and a hands-on approach.

So, it has seven departments in two schools Business, psychology, sports science, and law are taught at the School of Social Science. In contrast, computer science, engineering, and applied engineering are taught at the School of Technology. The majority of the programmes are taught in Icelandic. So, many undergraduate courses are offer in English, while Master’s and PhD programmes are entirely taught in English.

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 contemporary and vibrant; it’s one of its newest universities. The university is the largest distance education provider in the country, with over half of its students enrolled in classes delivered through a modern platform. 

So, at the University of Akureyri, international students can study different subjects. The various faculties are Social science, education, law, occupational therapy, nursing, business administration and natural resource sciences. The institution has also established Polar Law and West Nordic Studies programmes with partner institutions to teach students about climate change, boundary disputes, and other social issues affecting the region.

Bifrost University

Bifrost University is a private university in Iceland, with campuses in Hafnarfjörður and Reykjavik. The university focuses on environmental studies and sustainability, which makes it one of the best universities for international students who want to study environmental science or ecology.

Bifrost University’s main campus is located in Hafnarfjörður, a suburb outside Reykjavik. It’s only about 15 minutes from the city centre by car or bus, so it’s easy to get to class when you need to! So, the campus itself has plenty of green space for you to enjoy during your breaks between classes!

Agricultural University of Iceland

The Agricultural University of Iceland, founded in 2007, is a university with a global reach and student body. Over 60% of its students are from outside Iceland, including countries across Europe and Asia and Australia and New Zealand. So, the university offers courses in business management, engineering, environmental studies and agriculture sciences.

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. The arts sector promotes innovative thinking and encourages innovation in various disciplines. The students can pick their degree from these five departments, i.e., design & architecture, fine arts, music, theatre, and dance. Excitement, understanding, and bravery are the values that guide these programmes and all of the university’s activities.

So, this leading Icelandic university is include in international collaborations and bilateral partnerships through the Erasmus and NordPlus programmes. The university also has significant industry ties 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 affiliated with the IUA.

So, this should give you an idea of some of the different universities in Iceland that offer courses in English. Many other great institutions are list here, but it’s important to note that they may not have programs that meet your needs. If you want to learn more about studying abroad as an international student, check out our article on what makes a university good for students worldwide. So, hopefully, this list will help narrow down your search and make finding the right school easier!



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