Iceland University of the Arts

As the only higher arts education institution on a national level the Iceland University of the Arts (IUA) holds a distinct and unequivocal place in the cultural and educational landscape in Iceland. It was established on the grounds of separate arts colleges with a vision to create a single umbrella for all the fields of the arts, concealed with an official Charter in 1998. The University has developed into a dynamic and manifold institution, running 24 study programs in the five departments of arts education, design and architecture, fine art, music and performing arts.

One of the distinctive features of the IUA programs is students’ proximity to other professional fields in the arts. Collaboration is offered between all departments. All the programs at IUA furthermore collaborate with other universities, museums, galleries and institutions in Icelandic society.

Main focus of the IUA is to create a platform for students to deepen and increase their knowledge – strengthen their personal vision and to connect their artistic practice to the theoretical criteria of their field and their surroundings.

IUA provides a rewarding and dynamic environment revolving around the main subjects of contemporary art and education.

The IUA actively participates in international collaborative networks. That makes it possible for students to take part of their studies at art academies all over the world. In return, the University welcomes a diverse group of students for an exchange for shorter or longer study periods. International guest lecturers frequently offer lectures, private tuition and / or courses.

As other Icelanders the students at IUA have a rather liberal outlook on life. The level of gender equality is high and Icelandic people are known for being rather tolerant. Icelanders are really proud of their history, culture and heritage. Students and former students from IUA are active participants in the Icelandic society and local and national festivals.


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Facts and figures

Year Established 1998
Total Number of Staff 89
Number of Academic Staff 55
Number of Students 440
Focus Areas

Arts and culture of the North

Arts and sustainability

Architecture in extreme conditions

Web link for international students
Fields of Study Offered Teacher training and education science (broad programmes)
Fine arts
Music and performing arts
Architecture and building (broad programmes)