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University of Akureyri

Solborg, Nordurslod 2
IS-600 Akureyri

  Registration number # 5206871229   Number of employees : 190
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The University of Akureyri (Háskólinn á Akureyri) is located in North Iceland and has served Akureyri and its rural surroundings since 1987. The university has built a reputation for academic excellence and good industrial relations. It is an international research university which offers many programmes both in undergraduate and postgraduate studies. Located in the capital of North Iceland, Akureyri, the university has been instrumental in the area´s economic growth and is central to the area´s future planning as a knowledge-based society. The university is divided into three schools, School of Business and Science, School of Health Sciences and School of Humanities and Social Sciences. The number of students is around 1750 and members of staff are around 190.

The University of Akureyri (UNAK) is a scientific and academic institute that conducts teaching and research in the academic disciplines of its faculties. It is the largest university outside the capital, with strong ties to industries and various institutions in society.
•    UNAK offers a varied selection of study programmes leading to the first university degree, together with advanced studies
      in a few disciplines.
•    UNAK offers students first rate service through its supportive services, e.g. a library, a computer user service, a computer and
      media centre, study counselling and international activities.
•    UNAK offers very favourable conditions for its students in the form of new housing for teaching, well equipped computer centres
      and good facilities in reading rooms.
•    UNAK is a progressive university in the use of information technology and the development of teaching methods, e.g. distance learning.
•    UNAK emphasises personal service. Students receive individual instruction and they are encouraged to conduct their own research
       and cooperative projects.
•    Computer ownership of students is impressive and Internet access is available through the wireless network connection
      of the university.
•    FÉSTA operates well appointed student housing under its auspices and all students are entitled to apply for accommodation there.

Strategic objectives of the University of Akureyri are: 1. A challenging and personal study environment 2. Active research 3. Active contact with the community 4. International cooperation 5. An efficient organisational unit

Research is one of the fundamental aspects of the University of Akureyri. Faculty and students are engaged in both basic and applied research. The focus is on research in UNAK´s selected fields of study and inter-disciplinary studies of the arctic. The objective is to consolidate the position of University of Akureyri in relation to the business community and other collaborative partners in Iceland and abroad. The research work is mostly in the hands of a qualified and experienced academic staff but the administration is in the hands of RHA - UNAK´s Research and Development Centre ( RHA operates to promote research activities and to strengthen the practical cooperation with public and private enterprises.
In addition there are four research institutions that operate with the UNAK:
1. The Icelandic Tourism Research Centre –
2. The School Development Centre
3. The Health Science Institute Research
4. The Fisheries Centre

All academic programmes at the University of Akureyri are accredited by the Ministry of Education and Science. The accreditation is based on thorough reviews by three teams of international experts who all recommended to the Ministry that the academic programmes of the University should unconditionally be accredited. Among other things, the accreditation report stated that the university leadership, staff and students share a high degree of motivation to advance UNAK as a strong university.


Akureyri is located in North-East Iceland surrounded by mountains reaching 1000-1500 meters at the head of Iceland´s longest fjord, Eyjafjörður. Akureyri is only about 60 km south of the Arctic Circle, yet summer temperatures can reach 25°C. Winters provide the opportunity to experience heavy snowfalls and the occasional cold day interspersed with calm and still weather.

In 1862 Akureyri was granted its municipal charter; its population was then around 300. Akureyri now has about 17,000 inhabitants, making it the largest community outside the capital area. As the centre of trade and services in northern Iceland, Akureyri has a varied and vibrant economic life. Its facilities for conferences and meetings are among the best in Iceland. The opening of the University of Akureyri in 1987 ushered in the city´s role as a centre of learning.

Sports and leisure activities abound. Akureyri swimming pools are excellent and geothermally heated. There are several gyms, golf courses, sports grounds, and the skiing area is the best in the country. Akureyri is truly a winter sports enthusiast´s paradise. The town boasts an excellent skating rink, superb cross-country skiing trails through an ever-changing landscape, and fantastic slopes for slalom skiers and snowboarders. Several national and inter-national skiing competitions are held there during the winter.

The town´s verdant surroundings have earned Akureyri the name the Green Town. Within the town limits the forested area (Kjarnaskógur) is a popular recreational area both in summer and winter. The area offers a number of walking and cross-country skiing trails. The Botanical Garden is the most northerly one of its kind in the world, with a great number of plants and lowers. This is a particularly popular attraction for tourists. Akureyri lies within easy reach of Goðafoss and Dettifoss and the islands Hrísey and Grímsey, the latter bisected by the Arctic Circle. There is a wide range of accommodation available in Akureyri and the surrounding area. Akureyri offers everything a small city has to offer but still manages to retain its small town appeal.