Tuition Free Universities in Iceland for International Students

Last Updated on March 4, 2023 by

Do you wish to Study in Iceland? Here is all you should know before your study in the Iceland program – from tuition fees, cost of living, admission requirements, and a list of universities in Iceland with their official websites.

Iceland is a lovely and great place for international students to study and live. The country is located in the North Atlantic Ocean near the Arctic pole. The country is well developed with a top-notch higher education system.

Get more information regarding Tuition Free Universities in Iceland for International Students, university of Iceland courses, university of iceland international students, university of iceland requirements for international students, agricultural university of Iceland, university of Iceland admission & study in Iceland without ielts

university of iceland international students

Registration Fees - Available at University of Iceland

Students at the University of Iceland do not pay tuition fees, only an annual registration fee of ISK 75,000.

International applicants will receive an answer regarding admittance by viewing their application status. Those accepted into the University will be sent various practical information. The fee needs to be paid by a specific due date, generally a month after reception of the acceptance letter. Registration for studies at the University of Iceland is confirmed upon payment of the registration fee. The registration fee is non-refundable.

If assistance is needed in transferring the fee, please contact the Student Registration, email: [email protected].HideAnnual course registration

Annual course registration for the upcoming academic year (autumn and spring semesters) takes place in March each year. All university students must register during the annual registration period, including graduate students.

The registration fee must be paid in connection with the annual course registration. The fee can be paid online using a payment card, optionally the entire sum at once or by credit payment plan.

If the registration fee is not paid by the due date the student is considered to have abandoned studies.
HidePermission for reduction of annual registration fee

New students who enrol in the middle of the academic year (in January) are charged a reduced registration fee of ISK 55,000. Students with a disability certificate are also charged a reduced fee of ISK 55,000.

If a university faculty permits a student to take leave from studies for one academic year, the student pays ISK 10,000. 

Further information on registration fees can be found in the course catalogue.

Application deadlines

International students

  • Application period is from the beginning of December until 1 February 

Exchange students

  • Autumn semester or full academic year: 
    Non-EU/EEA citizens: 1 April 
    EU/EEA citizens: 1 May
  • Spring semester: 
    Non-EU/EEA citizens: 1 September 
    EU/EEA citizens: 1 October

Application forms

The application deadline for undergraduate and graduate studies for international students (other than exchange students) was 1 February 2021 (for the 2021-2022 academic year). An online application form is available above while applications are being accepted.

Exchange students

Exchange student applications must be submitted before 1 April for non-EEA students and before 1 May for EEA students. An application form and further information is available on the exchange students information site.

Tuition Fees In Iceland Universities

In Iceland, tuition fees are not paid at public universities but students will have to pay a compulsory and non-refundable registration fee. The cost of the registration fee in most cases is usually between 100 to 250 pounds.

For students who choose to study at private higher education institutions, they will need to pay both tuition and registration fees. Private higher education institutions charge tuition fees but the fees charged are low when compared to other European institutions.

The fees charged by private higher education institutions in Iceland vary but usually range between 4500 to 8000 pounds depending on the courses chosen by students.

Living Costs In Iceland

Students who decide to study in Iceland will spend at least 660 pounds monthly. The cost of accommodation, however, varies a lot. The rates of Reykjavik universities are higher than the rest of the universities.

Admission Requirements In Iceland

Every university in Iceland has its own criteria and requirements. There are instances where the academic criteria may be put aside if a candidate is highly recommended by a supervisor and the Education Committee of the chosen university. Students should ensure they get information from the department.

Deadline For Application

The deadline for application for studies at university in Iceland varies depending on the higher education institution and the study program chosen.

Despite this, several higher education institutions have their application deadlines between March and June for studies starting in the fall semester in September.Learn more

Most times, foreign undergraduate and graduate students must apply before March 15 although Nordic students can apply before April or the start of June.

Which Universities are the Best in Iceland?

Here are the top universities in Iceland:Learn more

  • University of Akureyri
  • Holar University College
  • Agricultural University of Iceland
  • University of Iceland
  • Iceland Academy of the Arts
  • Bifrost University
  • Technical College of Iceland

#1 University of Akureyri

The University of Akureyri was founded on September 5, 1987, in the city of Akureyri in the northeastern part of Iceland. It has grown since then, establishing a school of health sciences, humanities and social science, and a school of business and science.OFFICIAL UNIVERSITY WEBSITE

#2 Holar University College

Hólar University College is located in Hólar, Iceland, an important historical center of education. The first school in Hólar was founded in 1106. It was renamed Hólar Agricultural College in 1882 and became Hólar University College in 2007.

There are three departments in the University

  • Department of Aquaculture and Fish Biology
  • The Department of Equine Studies
  • Department of Tourism Studies

#3 Agricultural University of Iceland

The Agricultural University of Iceland is an educational and research institution focusing on agricultural and environmental sciences, founded in 2005.OFFICIAL UNIVERSITY WEBSITE

#4 University of Iceland

The University of Iceland is a public research university in Reykjavík, Iceland, and the country’s oldest and largest institution of higher education.

The University of Iceland offers studies in more than 160 undergraduate programs in the humanities, science, and social sciences and in professional fields such as theology, lawbusinessmedicine, odontology, nursing, pharmacology, and engineering.

Postgraduate studies are offered by all faculties, most of them research-based although not exclusively. There are also several multidisciplinary master’s programs available in the fields of health and environmental sciences, some of them in cooperation with other European universities.

According to the Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU), the school is placed in the 401-500 band globally.OFFICIAL UNIVERSITY WEBSITE

#5 Iceland Academy of the Arts

Iceland Academy of the Arts (Icelandic: Listaháskóli Íslands) is an Icelandic institution of higher education, located in Reykjavík, which offers the only university-level degrees in the arts in Iceland.

The institution was founded on 21 September 1998 by consolidating the Iceland Drama School and the Reykjavík Arts School, and classes began in autumn 1999. It has five departments: Art EducationDesign and Architecture, Fine Arts, Music, and Theatre and Dance. OFFICIAL UNIVERSITY WEBSITE

#6 Bifrost University

Bifröst University is located in the valley of Norðurárdalur, approximately 30 kilometers north of Borgarnes, Iceland. Originally a business school, it also offers degrees in law and social sciences, at both bachelor’s and master’s levels, as well as a remedial university preparatory course.OFFICIAL UNIVERSITY WEBSITE

#7 Technical College of Iceland

Tækniskólinn, the Technical College of Reykjavík, is an upper secondary school in Reykjavik, Iceland providing both vocational and specialized programs.

It was formed in 2008 through the merger of its two predecessors: Iðnskólinn í Reykjavík, and Fjöltækniskólinn. It is subdivided into 13 trade-specific schools, which collectively make up one of the largest schools in the country.

list of tuition free universities in iceland for international students

Iceland is home to several higher educational institutions that promise excellent education for cheap. Given the country’s picturesque landscape, it comes as no surprise why more and more students are setting their sights on Iceland. If you are one of these aspiring enrollees, then make sure to pick from this list of the cheap universities in Iceland for foreign applicants.

What Are the Requirements of Studying in Iceland?

If you wish to take a Bachelor’s degree in Iceland, you need to have a high school diploma/matriculation exam or equivalent. Depending on the university or the course, you may be asked to submit additional documents, take an entrance exam, or participate in an interview.

As for a Master’s degree, the primary requirement is to have a Bachelor’s degree related to the field. As with undergraduate entrants, graduate students may be asked to submit other documentary requirements as well.

Can You Study in English at Icelandic Universities?

. Although most bachelor’s programs are taught in Icelandic, some post-graduate programs come with English instruction – which is the case at Reykjavik University. At the University of Iceland, graduate degrees – as well as some Bachelor’s programs – are also taught in English.

Cheap Universities in Iceland

1. University of Iceland

Founded in 1911, the University of Iceland is the country’s oldest and largest institute of higher education. Previously a servants’ school, the Reykjavik-based university is now home to 8,309 students – 12% of which come from various nations across the globe.

The university is categorized into 5 schools, with each overseeing a total of 25 faculties. These are the Schools of Social Science, Health Science, Humanities, Education, and Engineering & Natural Science.

The University of Iceland is ranked as the 2nd best institution in the country after Reykjavik University. With a tuition fee of around $600 a year, the University of Iceland is the cheapest university in Iceland for international students.

2. University of Akureyri

Based in northeastern Iceland, the University of Akureyri is known as the largest provider of distance education in the region. Founded in 1987, it works in conjunction with various universities to deliver certain programs.

At the University of Akureyri, foreign students may choose from a variety of bachelor’s programs in the Social Sciences, Education, Law, Occupational Therapy, Nursing, Business Administration, and Natural Resource Science. It also offers graduate degrees in Law, Education, and Natural Resource Studies.Search Programs for International Students

3. Agricultural University of Iceland

The Agricultural University of Iceland, another cheap university in Iceland, is a NOVA-network-affiliated public university. It is one of Iceland’s youngest institutions, having been only opened in the year 2005.

Despite being new to the scene, AUI specializes in fields that most universities do not have. These include the undergraduate studies of Agriculture, Equine Science, Natural & Environmental Science, Forest Science, and Landscape Architecture.

AUI offers Masters’s degrees in Planning and Environmental Changes as well.

4. Hólar University College

Next on our list of affordable universities in Iceland is Hólar University College. It is one of the oldest schools in Europe, having been founded as a cathedral school in the year 1106. It was eventually renamed Hólar Agricultural College before it took its current moniker in the year 2007.

Located in a small district in Northern Iceland, the Hólar University College offers 3 paths of learning: Aquaculture & Fish Biology, Equine Studies, and Tourism Studies.

The university also conducts research in these unique fields. As of current, it is home to sophisticated centers such as Biodiversity Lab and Aquaculture Lab. It also dabbles in the fields of horse breeding, training, and riding.

5. Iceland University of the Arts

The Iceland University of the Arts is a Reykjavik-based institution that specializes in art-related programs. The private university, which resulted from a merger between the Reykjavik Arts School and Iceland Drama School, first opened its doors in the year 1998.

Here, foreign and local students – with a total enrollment of less than 500 – can specialize in the fields of Design, Art Education, Music, Fine Arts, Dance, and Theater.

6. Bifröst University

Founded in 1918, Bifröst University in Norðurárdalur started as the Cooperative College business school. Formerly based in Reykjavik, the private institution has evolved into a haven for local and foreign students who wish to study Business, Economics, Politics, or the Icelandic Language and Culture.

This cheap university in Iceland has a small student population, with only about 700 students enrolled in its graduate and undergraduate studies.

7. Reykjavik University

Reykjavik University, one of the cheap universities in Iceland for international students, holds the distinction of being the largest private university in the country. Founded in 1998, it is home to 2,501 students – 9% of which come from international backgrounds.

Despite being a relatively young institution, Reykjavik University is considered the best school in Iceland. It is also ranked 59th in the list of the best young universities in the world.

The institution is currently organized into the schools of Business, Computer Science, Law, and Science & Engineering.

university of Iceland

The University of Iceland (IcelandicHáskóli Íslands [ˈhauːˌskouːlɪ ˈistlan(t)s]) is a public research university in ReykjavíkIceland and the country’s oldest and largest institution of higher education. Founded in 1911, it has grown steadily from a small civil servants’ school to a modern comprehensive university, providing instruction for about 14,000 students in twenty-five faculties. Teaching and research is conducted in social scienceshumanitieslawmedicinenatural sciencesengineering and teacher education. It has a campus concentrated around Suðurgata street in central Reykjavík, with additional facilities located in nearby areas as well as in the countryside.


The University of Iceland was founded by the Alþingi on 17 June 1911, uniting three former post-secondary institutions: PrestaskólinnLæknaskólinn and Lagaskólinn, which taught theology, medicine and law, respectively. The university originally had only faculties for these three fields, in addition to a faculty of humanities. During its first year of operation 45 students were enrolled. The first rector of the university was Björn M. Ólsen, a professor in the faculty of humanities.

Alþingishúsið in Reykjavík

The university played an important role in the construction of the Icelandic nation-state and was perceived by Icelanders as an important stepping stone towards full independence.[2] Demands for a national Icelandic university stretch as far back as to the first session of the elected assembly of Althingi in 1845.[2] Icelandic nationalist leaders petitioned Denmark at the time to create a “national school” to achieve cultural and material progress, but also to make sure that the education that Icelanders obtained was sufficiently national in character.[2]

For its first 29 years the university was housed in the Icelandic Parliament building, Alþingishúsið, in central Reykjavík. In 1933, the university received a special licence from Alþingi to operate a cash-prize lottery called Happdrætti Háskólans. The university lottery, which started in 1934, remains a major source of funding for the construction of new university buildings. In 1940, the university moved into the main building, designed by Icelandic state architect Guðjón Samúelsson. The main building forms the core of the university campus on Suðurgata, where most of the principal buildings of the university are located today.

In recent years there has been some major restructuring. In 2008 the university was divided into five different schools. Simultaneously, the Iceland University of Education was merged with the University of Iceland to become its School of Education. Increased competition from local colleges has encouraged the university to greatly improve its marketing strategies, which had previously been deemed unnecessary.

On 21 January 2021, a broken main water pipe serving the Vesturbær neighbourhood of Reykjavík flooded the campus with over 2,000 tonnes of water, causing damage to buildings Háskólatorg and Gimli.


School buildings

Main article: List of University of Iceland buildings

The university’s main campus lies immediately south-west of Tjörnin lake in the centre of Reykjavík. It covers about 10 hectares in total.[4] There are around 30 buildings in total, the oldest of which, Gamli Garður, was built in 1934. The Main Building overlooks a semi-circular lawn, featuring a statue of Sæmundur fróði. In 2007, a new service centre was opened next to the main building and many of the most vital service desks[clarification needed] were relocated there. Some lectures take place in Háskólabíó cinema at the northern end of the campus. There are also a gym, several dormitories, and smaller research institute buildings on the grounds. Most buildings are located on the main campus and nearby neighbourhoods. The Faculty of Sport, Leisure Studies and Social Education, on the other hand, is located in the village of Laugarvatn.


In 1994 the university library (formally established in 1940) merged with the national library of Iceland, Landsbókasafn Íslands (est. 1818) to form one large academic library, the National and University Library of Iceland (IcelandicLandsbókasafn Íslands – Háskólabókasafn). The library main building, Þjóðarbókhlaðan, is situated next to the main campus.


Education and research at the University of Iceland are closely tied with the National University Hospital in Reykjavík. The facilities of the School of Health Sciences are therefore largely located on the hospital grounds.