Universities In Iceland Seriously Underfunded - The Reykjavik Grapevine

Universities In Iceland Seriously Underfunded

Published November 25, 2013

Expenditure to universities in Iceland needs to increase by 100% to be equivalent of what the other Nordic countries spend on their university education system.

This is what a lecturer of economies at University of Iceland said in radio show Sprengisandur on Bylgjan on Sunday.

“Expenditure towards healthcare is actually on a par with other OECD countries, an achievement that doesn’t impress many people because within the OECD are so many countries that we don’t necessarily compare ourselves to,” lecturer Tinna Laufey Ásgeirsdóttir said on the show, where she was discussing the education system in Iceland and was comparing the government’s funding to different budget fields.

“All the other Nordic countries are, for example, way above the average amongst OECD countries, in terms of healthcare. But when we look at the education system and compare ourselves to other OECD countries, the expenditure is quite good. That’s because the budget for the education system up to university level is very well funded. In that sense we’re in fact above average within tine OECD. But in return, the university-level is extremely underfunded in Iceland.”

Tinna said that Iceland would need to raise the budget for universities by 60% to get close to the OECD average. “Yet, that’s not really what we want to measure up against. We’d actually have to double our expenditure to the universities to be on a par with the other Nordic countries.”

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