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University Centre of the Westfjords

The University Centre of the Westfjords is a relatively small institution at university level. Founded in 2005, the Centre became operational in January 2006 and presently employs 10 permanent staff as well as part-time teachers. Within the University Centre building over 50 members of staff work in research and teaching positions in various institutions and companies. Per annum the University Centre operates a distance-learning service for 100 students; it runs a degree course on the master's program in Coastal and Marine Management and the master's program in Marine Innovation for over 40 students, as well as offering diverse summer courses.

Through this distance learning facility, students residing in the Westfjords can study in the comfort of their homes. The University Centre also provides accommodation, group studying and course material. Whilst the number of students has remained stable, development in recent years has seen an increased number of smaller groups, thus creating a stronger student-teacher ratio.

The Master's Program in Coastal and Marine Management was established in September 2008 by the Minister of Education. Students graduate from the University of Akureyri with a Master of Resource Management (MRM) degree. The course is international, cross-disciplinary and taught in modules. Each module is open to participants from Icelandic and foreign universities and also for those from a working background. There are presently around 40 people in the Master's program.

Furthermore, the University Centre offers several summer courses in the Westfjords, including tailor-made courses for national and international field schools. During the last years this led to organising 4000 overnight stays which in turn contributed to the local community.

In 2008 and 2009 the University Centre, in association with Reykjavík University, offered a Preparatory Program for university entrance for 40 resident and distance-learning students in the Westfjords. The University Centre also supervised all teaching for distance-learning for the first semester of the Preparatory Program at Reykjavík University. This collaboration will continue in 2010.

The University Centre of the Westfjords was not founded as a research institution. The Centre is none the less involved in research projects, and it is contributing to research by its master's students' theses. However, its strengths have up to now mainly been in acting as a coordinator in research projects rather than in conducting research of its own.

The University Centre of the Westfjords is in partnership with various international cooperative ventures, including the University of the Arctic, and has participated in projects with the Nordic Council and the European Union.

The University Centre of the Westfjords emphasis high standards and follows the Bologna Process for European university requirements, in collaboration with national and foreign universities. However, the University Centre is still in its early years and boasts a flexible outlook. The faculty and staff endeavour to provide an exceptional service to both students and researchers in and outside the Westfjords.

The University Centre logo was designed by Wilfried Bullerjahn, willi@islenska.isUniversity Centre of the Westfjords
Sudurgotu 12
400, Isafjordur
Phone: +354 450 3040
info (at)
Kennitala: 610705-0220

Our community

"Iceland has a strong cultural heritage in a harsh environment with good community organization. The Icelandic learning experience has left me reeling with enthusiasm for coastal management, given me colleagues for life and left me with a moustache."

Henry Fletcher, England, CMM student 2008 - 2009


Promotional Meeting on National Planning Framework
The Icelandic National Planning Agency is promoting a proposal for a National Planning Framework 2015-2026. An open meeting on the framework will be held at the University Centre o......