Jón Atli Benediktsson, Rector of the University of Iceland, sent the following message to University staff and students today (20 November 2020):
"Dear students and colleagues,
One of the primary goals of a university is to deliver skilled, well-educated and work-ready graduates. Universities thereby have an enormous impact on societal progress and the competitiveness of a nation on the international stage.
This week, we received the good news that the University of Iceland was ranked among the best universities in the world for student employability. The University of Iceland is the only Icelandic university to be included on the new Times Higher Education global list of universities that deliver the most employable graduates. We have also risen 19 places up the rankings from last year. The University is now ranked 162, a position based on the evaluation of a wide range of international companies.
A new list of the most influential scientists in the world was also published this week, which included two Icelanders who have worked as professors at the University of Iceland, as well as three guest professors. This is a clear and gratifying testament to the strength of the University's position in international research.
Active participation in society and industry is one of the main focuses of the strategy for the University and, in recent years, we have been working systematically to strengthen our links with industry and promote diverse innovation. It was therefore wonderful to see that the founders of Controlant, who are University of Iceland alumni, were presented with the Icelandic Innovation Award earlier this week. Controlant has developed technology to monitor the temperature of drugs and food products.
In other good news, we continue to see tangible signs that the epidemic is subsiding here in Iceland. Infection control measures were therefore relaxed this week. However, we must all stay alert and continue to follow instructions from the public health authorities.
Final exams are almost upon us, most of which will be organised as distance or take-home exams. I truly hope that your exam revision is going well, dear students. I have become aware that some of you have concerns about on-campus exams, but I can assure you that we have followed robust methods in identifying the exams that must unavoidably take place in University buildings. We have also followed instructions from the health authorities to the letter. Strict infection control measures will be in place and all public health restrictions fully complied with at all times. Instructions have been written for students regarding on-campus exams and other exams in order to ensure that they can take place safely. Further instructions will be added over the next few days as required.
I urge you all, dear students, to take a look at the FAQ about final exams this December on the University website.
Let's enjoy the weekend as much as possible, and take care.
Jón Atli Benediktsson, Rector"