About the IUA
The Iceland University of the Arts is a self-governing institution providing higher education in fine arts, theatre, dance, music, design, architecture, and art education.

Role and Objectives
The role of the Iceland University of the Arts is to encourage progressive thinking in the arts and to stimulate innovation and development in different fields. The IUA offers education in the arts at the university level and conveys both knowledge and professionalism in the arts to Icelandic society. It operates in a global environment and measures itself against academies that excel in arts education in neighbouring countries.

Three main values guide the focus and direction of the IUA in all of its work:

  • Curiosity
  • Understanding
  • Courage

Curiosity prompts us to ask questions and search for new approaches, solutions and answers. We dissect those answers and strive to understand what is foreign to us. Through understanding and training we develop the talents and skills we require. In that way we strengthen our courage to follow through on our convictions and our artistic vision.

The Iceland University of the Arts places emphasis on enhancing cooperation with other higher education institutions in the country and various other institutions and enterprises. Its partners include: The University of Iceland, Reykjavík University, the Agricultural University of Iceland, Bifröst University, the Reykjavík Art Museum, the National Gallery of Iceland, the Living Art Museum, the Ísafjördur Music School, the Skaftfell Cultural Centre, the Iceland Symphony Orchestra, the Icelandic Opera, the Salur Music Hall, Caput, the Reykjavík City Theatre, the National Theatre, the Akureyri Theatre, the Iceland Dance Company, the Reykjavík Arts Festival, and the National Icelandic Broadcasting Service, RÚV.

The Iceland University of the Arts is an active participant in international cooperation. The IUA has made bilateral agreements with about 120 higher education institutions in Europe through the Erasmus programme. Within NordPlus, the University collaborates with around 90 art HEI in the Nordic and Baltic area. Preparations are being made for cooperation with art schools in Asia, including China, Japan, and Thailand. Students can therefore complete a part of their studies in foreign places. In general, a student exchange lasts one semester. A large number of foreign exchange students also studies at the Iceland University of the Arts, and numerous foreign guest teachers teach at the University for longer or shorter periods of time.


The Iceland University of the Arts is a self-governing institution providing higher education in fine arts, theatre, dance, music, design, architecture, and art education. The operations of the IUA are three-fold: a common executive management, university departments, and support division/joint administration.

The IUA board is the highest decision-making body and oversees all issues pertaining to general school operations. It serves to protect the interests of the IUA and ensure that it operates according to the set objectives. The board is responsible for the administration, finances and property of the institution, determines the tuition fees, and appoints the rector.

The rector acts on behalf of the board to carry out the operations and administration of the IUA, and holds ultimate responsibility. The rector is in charge of ensuring that practices are carried out in accordance with the roles, objectives and standards set by the University, particularly with respect to curriculum and instruction. The rector chairs meetings of the IUA's Management Council and Academic Council and calls the meeting of the Academy Forum. The rector also acts as the IUA's spokesman.

The Management Council is a collaborative forum for the IUA's executive staff. The Council discusses issues of joint concern to the departments and support divisions and supports the rector in the daily operations of the institution.

The Academic Council is a collaborative forum for administrators, instructors and students at the IUA. The Council discusses the professional standards of the University, the quality and performance of its work, and supports the rector and management in making decisions on academic matters.

The IUA Forum is an open venue for discussing professional matters within the IUA as well as academic policy. The rector and board may seek its opinion on any and all matters pertaining to the school’s operations and development. The IUA Forum is held at least once a year.


Fríða Björk Ingvarsdóttir, Rector
frida [at] lhi.is


sigrunbirgis [at] lhi.is (Sigrún Birgisdóttir)

, Department of Design & Architecture
kristin [at] lhi.is (Kristín Valsdóttir)

, Department of Arts Education
sigruninga [at] lhi.is (Sigrún Inga Hrólfsdóttir), Department of Fine Art
tmbald [at] lhi.is (Tryggvi M Baldvinsson) Department of Music
steinunnknuts [at] lhi.is (Steinunn Knútsdóttir)

, Department of Theatre & Dance