Minister of Education Katrín Jakobsdóttir has approved funding for the investigation of the university system in Iceland for its possible contribution to the economic collapse of 2008. One million ISK has been earmarked for the investigation, and former rector Páll Skúlason will be granting the funding.
A statement from the ministry says that with the funding, it is hoped in part that the country’s scholastic community will “realize their moral responsibility and duties in society.”
Despite the limited funding, Katrín believes it has never been more important to investigate the university system to ensure that it lives up to its legal expectations. Such an investigation, she hopes, will lead to a more critical and better informed society.
The law about universities defines their role as “to support creativity and as a medium of knowledge and ability to students and all of society.” The Special Investigative Commission (SIC) report, Eyjan contends, has pointed out that the universities in Iceland have not always lived up to this role.
Just how the university system in Iceland contributed to the crash – whether through professors teaching students the wonders of libertarian capitalism, or perhaps through connected professors providing favored students with a back door into larger companies – remains to be seen.
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