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15/05/2020 - 10:56

Government funding for summer courses at the University of Iceland

The University of Iceland offers a diverse selection of summer courses, suitable for current students as well as those planning to pursue higher education or those who wish to improve their skills. The government has provided Icelandic universities with a total of half a billion ISK to fund summer courses. The University of Iceland will receive half of this sum. This was announced on 13 May at a press conference given by the Minister of Education, Science and Culture and the Minister of Social Affairs and Children on initiatives to help students in light of the situation with the COVID-19 pandemic. 

This additional funding is intended to counteract unemployment and support the education of young people, since it is likely that fewer summer jobs will be available to university students than normal due to the current situation.  

The target group for this special education initiative includes current university students, students due to graduate from upper secondary school this spring who wish to prepare for higher education, other future university students, and those who wish to strengthen their position on the job market, bridge skill gaps, or make a career change.

Like other universities, the University of Iceland has worked with the government to organise summer courses in recent weeks. The plan is for courses to run between 1 June to 15 August, with the length of a single course anything from one to ten weeks. 

In an interview with the TV network Stöð 2, Jón Atli Benediktsson, Rector of the University of Iceland, announced that the University would offer current students the opportunity to take special elective courses as well as online courses run in collaboration with foreign universities. Students planning to start a university programme this autumn will also be offered a diverse range of preparatory courses. "For example, we will be running various language courses including courses in Icelandic as a second language," said Jón Atli.

The range of available courses will be published on the University of Iceland by the end of next week. Jón Atli pointed out that the courses will be spread out across the summer, with application deadlines to be announced next week. 

As previously stated, the government will be providing ISK 500 million to fund summer courses at Icelandic universities, with ISK 250 million going to the University of Iceland.

Generally speaking, students will be charged a maximum registration fee of ISK 3,000 for each course, but students who are already registered at the University for the 2020 spring semester will not be required to pay anything. There may be exceptions if the cost of materials for a course is high, i.e. costs beyond that of teaching and general teaching equipment. 

As well as summer courses, the University of Iceland is planning to offer a diverse range of student summer jobs. Work is currently underway on defining these positions in collaboration with both the government and the Directorate of Labour.