Jón Atli Benediktsson, Rector of the University of Iceland, sent the following message to University staff and students today (5 February 2021):
"Dear students and colleagues,
We are now getting back into the swing of things following the disruptions caused by the flooding of University buildings that occurred on 21 Jan. It is clear that the damage is very serious but we are still assessing the impact and we know that not all issues will be immediately apparent. A great deal of work has gone into drying out all the affected spaces in order to minimise the damp. Appliances and equipment are being repaired or replaced to ensure that our operations are not further compromised.
February is always a busy month at the University of Iceland, what with the graduation ceremony and the University open day. Neither of these events will be taking place as normal this year, in line with guidance from the public health authorities. The graduation ceremony has been adapted so that all candidates will be able to receive their degree certificates on 20 February. Further information on the arrangements will be forthcoming in the next few days.
University Day will be held on 27 February – this is a joint initiative by all Icelandic universities to help prospective students learn more about the diverse range of programmes we offer. This year University Day will take place exclusively online. The University of Iceland will be livestreaming presentations on all available undergraduate programmes. Current students and teaching staff will be on hand to answer any questions about studying at UI.
The University of Iceland Student Council celebrated its centenary last year and the University of Iceland is 110 years old this year. This week a television series started airing on student activism over the years. It is extremely interesting to look back through history and see how the vital work of students at the University of Iceland has affected our society, within the University community and beyond. I encourage you all to follow this fascinating series.
Scientists and academics at the University of Iceland have made huge contributions to research on the COVID-19 pandemic and solutions to benefit communities in these unusual times. One of the latest examples is a team from the University of Iceland who have been selected as finalists in an international challenge to create a prediction model for the coronavirus pandemic. The competition aims to advance the use of AI in addressing various humanitarian challenges.
It will not have escaped anyone that significant strides have been made in our efforts to control infections here in Iceland, thanks not least to judicious public health restrictions. But this is a marathon, not a sprint, and we must persevere in following the guidance from the Department of Civil Protection and Directorate of Health.
Dear students, please note that the spring semester exam timetable has been published. We expect arrangements for exams to be as normal as possible, e.g. final exams will be held in classrooms where applicable. Students are urged to contact faculties or teaching staff for further information about assessment in individual courses.
Although it is now the ancient Icelandic winter month of Þorri, the days are growing slowly and steadily longer. Let's enjoy the returning brightness this weekend as best we can and continue to take care.
Jón Atli Benediktsson, Rector"