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The Iceland University of the Arts actively participates in international collaboration. The IUA is a member of two extensive international cooperative ventures, the Nordplus educational programme organised by the Nordic Council of Ministers and the EU programme Erasmus+. Both of these programmes include teacher and student exchanges as well as other form of cooperation. The IUA has made bilateral agreements with more than 100 higher education institutions in Europe through Erasmus. Within Nordplus, the IUA participates in several different thematic networks with 90 partner schools in the Nordic and the Baltic area.
In addition, the Iceland University of the Arts is currently working on bilateral agreements with academies outside Europe.
The IUA’s participation in these international programmes makes it possible for students to complete part of their study programme abroad. The IUA also receives several foreign exchange students every year. The duration of the exchange is generally one semester.
The IUA's teachers also benefit from participation in the Erasmus and the Nordplus programmes as they can apply for grants to hold workshops or lectures at other European art schools. In turn, a large number of foreign guest instructors teach at the Academy for longer or shorter periods each semester.
The IUA has been awarded the DS label by the European Commission. The Diploma Supplement (DS) accompanies a higher education diploma, providing a standardised description of the nature, level, context, content and status of the studies completed by its holder. The European Credit Transfer System (ECTS) makes teaching and learning in higher education more transparent across Europe and facilitates the recognition of all studies. The system allows for the transfer of learning experiences between different institutions, greater student mobility and more flexible routes to gain degrees. It also aids curricula development and quality assurance.
The Iceland University of the Arts is a full member of ELIA, the European League of Institutes of the Arts, which is an organisation of about 320 art academies in 47 European countries. ELIA organises conferences, publications and debates about art education among artists, teachers, administrators and students.
The IUA also takes part in Cumulus, which is an association of approximately 140 design schools around the world; the EAAE, which is an organisation of more than 100 European schools of architecture; AEC, which is an organisation of almost 250 music academies, PARADOX, an association of European schools of fine arts; and Arctic Sustainable Arts and Designa thematic network that aims to identify and share contemporary and innovative practices in teaching, learning, research and knowledge exchange in the fields of arts, design and visual culture education.
The office handles all matters having to do with international exchanges for students and teachers, both in relation to Erasmus+, Nordplus and other similar agreements.