The Northern Light Confucius Institute 北极光孔子学院 was formally founded at the University of Iceland on 16 May 2008 with the aim of strengthening both Chinese studies at the university and understanding of Chinese language, culture and society in Icelandic society at large.
The University of Iceland runs the institute in collaboration with Hanban and its Chinese partner university, Ningbo University, in China's Zhejiang Province. A number of Icelandic students have attended both summer and winter courses at Ningbo University.
Ningbo University provides the Confucius Institute with experienced visiting lecturers who reside at the institute for an average of two years. They have taught in the University of Iceland's BA degree programme in Chinese studies, but also Chinese courses in the University of Iceland's Continuous Education and courses at Reykjavik University. The institute is also the official representative for standardized Chinese language examinations (HSK - Hanyu shuiping kaoshi) and issues acknowledged HSK certificates.
The Northern Light Confucius Institute organises a number of events related to the field of Chinese studies. In the autumn semester of 2009, there is an ongoing lecture series on various topics related to China and Chinese society in commemoration of the 60th anniversary of the PRC.
Currently, the institute seeks to boosten Chinese language teaching and education on China in secondary schools through financial support and by designing teaching material in Icelandic.
Director of the Northern Light Confucius Institute is Mr. Magnús Björnsson.