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Iceland Education Facts


The compulsory school is ten years old and the compulsory schooling is compulsory from the age of 6 to 16. After primary school there are theoretical or vocational upper secondary education and special schools. Over 90 percent of students continue to study after primary school.

  • COUNTRYAAH: Country facts of Iceland, including geography profile, population statistics, and business data.

Icelanders are well educated, and it is common for them to speak Danish and English fluently in addition to their mother tongue. Although the population is small, there are a number of colleges: the University of Iceland (in Reykjavík), Akureyri University (including fisheries education), Reykjavík University (private business school), teacher’s college, technical college, art academy and more. Many Icelandic young people also study abroad, mainly in Scandinavia, the USA or the UK.

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Proportion of children starting primary school

99.5 percent (2016)

Number of pupils per teacher in primary school

10 (2015)

Public expenditure on education as a percentage of GDP

18.2 percent (2015)

Public expenditure on education as a percentage of the state budget

18.2 percent (2015)



Fishing stop in the Arctic

December 3

The fishing nations around the Arctic agree to stop all commercial fishing in the Arctic waters for the time being. In line with global warming, fish stocks have decreased in size and fishing hours have begun to take new paths. During the stop, the nations will conduct joint research to find out more about the ecosystems in the area in order to eventually be able to resume fishing. The agreement includes Canada, the EU, China, Denmark (Greenland and the Faroe Islands), Iceland, Japan, Norway, South Korea, Russia and the USA.


The Left-Green people are given the task of forming a government

November 2

Despite the Independence Party receiving the most votes in the general election, President Johannesson gives the assignment of trying to form a new government to Katrin Jakobsdottir, leader of the second largest party, the Left Green. It is unusual for the government-forming mission not to go first to the leader of everything’s largest party, but the scandals surrounding the Independence Party in the recent past cause the president to make another choice.


The Independence Party remains the largest in everything

October 28

In the new election to everything, the ruling Independence Party remains the largest, but backs from 21 seats in the 2016 election to 16. The Social Democratic Alliance increases its representation from 3 to 7 seats, while the Pirate Party backs from 10 to 6 seats. The Center Party is moving forward, while the liberal Light future is falling out of everything. The turnout is just over 81 percent.


New Election on October 28

September 19

President Johannesson accepts Prime Minister Benediktsson’s resignation application and announces new elections to everything on October 28, 2017. Until then, the incumbent government will continue to govern the country as a transitional government.

The government is falling

September 15th

The government is cracking down when the Bright Future Party leaves the ruling tripartite coalition. Prime Minister Benediktsson submits his resignation application. Bright future leaves the government in protest against Benediktsson not informing the rest of the government that his father, Benedikt Sveinsson, was trying to help a convicted pedophile get the crime cleared from the criminal record, which is possible in Iceland but has been criticized from several quarters. In July 2017, the Icelandic Minister of Justice informed Prime Minister Benediktsson that his father had written a letter in support of the pedophile’s quest to have the crime eradicated. Benediktsson chose to silence this until a parliamentary committee took up the case. Through the fallout of the bright future, the government loses its majority in everything.


Capital control is completely abolished

14th of March

Iceland is lifting the very last restrictions on capital movements affecting its households and businesses. Capital control was introduced during the crisis year 2008 to stop capital flight out of the country and prevent negative effects on the foreign exchange market. Since then, capital control has been gradually lifted to cease from March 14, 2017. Thus, it is freely available for transactions in foreign currency, foreign investment, credits and more.

High growth thanks to tourism

March 9

Iceland’s GDP growth in 2016 exceeds 7 percent thanks to a thriving tourism industry and a good investment climate.


New middle-right government is presented

January 10

Ten weeks after the new election, Benediktsson announces that he will become Iceland’s next prime minister in a bourgeois coalition government consisting of the Independence Party, the Resurrection (or the Reform Party) and the bright future. In his presentation, Benediktsson says that a referendum on Icelandic EU membership is “an opportunity” at the end of the term of office.

Benediktsson knew about the investigation

January 9

The opposition is upset that Benediktsson acknowledges that he was allowed to take part in the tax loss investigation as early as October 2016, ie before the new election.

Billion losses in tax collection

January 9

An investigation into the effects of Icelandic investments in tax havens (appointed by the government following the Panama scandal) is published. It shows that the losses in the form of missing tax revenue to the state were between 2.8 billion and 6.5 billion kroner during the period 2006 and 2014.

Iceland Best Colleges and Universities