The University of the Faroe Islands

In Faroese: Fróðskaparsetur Føroya

From the Graduation Ceremony in June 2016

August 1, 2008 was a milestone for the University of the Faroe Islands on that date the Faroese School of Education, the Faroese School of Nursing and the University of the Faroe Islands (Faculty of Faroese Language and Literature, Faculty of Science and Technology and Faculty of History and Social Sciences) merged into the enlarged and restructured University of the Faroe Islands as we know it today.

The merger was a result of the implementation of Faroese Parliamentary Act 58, dated June 9, 2008, on the University of the Faroe Islands, which was subsequently amended through Faroese Parliamentary Act 51, dated May 8, 2012.

The University is publicly funded, meaning that it is allocated an annual appropriation on the Faroese national budget.

In recent years several externally funded projects have been launched. These include both Ph.D. research and other research project funded by the Faroese Research Council, Danish Agency for Science, Technology and Innovation, oil companies and other entities.

Purpose

Research, learning and teaching are at the core of all activity at the University of the Faroe Islands. The purpose of the University of the Faroe Islands, as established by parliamentary act, is to carry out research, facilitate learning and provide teaching at the highest level, as well as disseminate knowledge about scientific findings and methods. The University carries out these tasks in selected areas of research and academic disciplines. The purpose of the University’s research is to enhance scientific and academic standards at the University and in Faroese society at large.

In addition, the University of the Faroe Islands is required to offer any qualifications and examinations stipulated by the Faroese Parliament.

The University of the Faroe Islands organises its own activities within the framework laid down by the 2008 Faroese Parliamentary Act on the University of the Faroe Islands with subsequent amendments. The work carried out by the University reflects the interests of Faroese society, and the University always welcomes suggestions from both the authorities and private industry.

Board of Directors of the University of the Faroe Islands

The Board of Directors of the University of the Faroe Islands is made up of seven members. The Minister appoints four external members, university staff elect two and university students elect one. For each member a deputy member is also appointed. Board members are appointed for a four-year term, with the exception of the student representative, who is elected for one year at a time.

External members must hold a university degree or equivalent qualification. The composition of external Board members must ensure that among them they offer in-depth knowledge of and good insight into university education and research, as well as management experience from business or industry and administration.

The Board of Directors is the highest authority of the University of the Faroe Islands. The Board selects a chair and a vice chair among the external members appointed by the Minister. Deputy members join the Board, if full members are prevented from performing their duties.

Cooperation with institutions and individuals in the Faroes and abroad

In addition to our own faculty, the University of the Faroe Islands relies on the services and support of a series of institutions and individuals in the Faroes and abroad in order to meet the highest international standards in fulfilling its purpose of teaching, researching and disseminating knowledge.

Since the University of the Faroe Islands was founded in 1965, we have engaged in wide-ranging cooperation, in particular with scholars, scientists and leaders of research institutions in the Faroes, but also with academics at institutions abroad, especially universities in our neighbouring countries. These individuals have played a major role in lecturing and assessing exams, as well as carrying out reviews at the University of the Faroe Islands. At the same time, our faculty have worked closely with staff at other institutions on a variety of research projects. Our faculty have also lectured, assessed exams and participated in reviews at other institutions.

This arrangement plays a vital role in guaranteeing that in all areas the University of the Faroe Islands meets the same standards as other universities in the countries around us. This type of cooperation between educational institutions, which enables faculty members to participate in activities at other institutions, guarantees continued quality assurance and evaluation of both the institutions’ overall activities and the work of each individual faculty member.

Collaboration has mostly been arranged informally through agreements entered directly with individual lecturers or ad-hoc agreements about specific tasks. However, in recent years the University has formalised its ties with many of its regular collaborators by appointing them as adjunct professors or associate professors. 

In connection with the restructuring underway at the University of the Faroe Islands, both the University and the institutions it cooperates with intend to formalise their collaboration further. This transition is necessary in order to visibilise the major role other research institutions, as well as the scientists and scholars working there and elsewhere play in the degree programmes offered at the University of the Faroe Islands.

Academia Færoensis – The history of our University

The University of the Faroe Islands was founded in 1965 under the Latin name Academia Færoensis. Members of The Faroese Academy of Sciences, formed in 1952, promoted the establishment of a university in the Faroes. The efforts of The Faroese Academy of Sciences were directed towards fostering a scholarly and scientific community in the Faroes. The Academy’s activities included the publication of the scientific journal Fróðskaparrit and extensive efforts to collect Faroese vocabulary.

In 1965, based on a proposal from The Faroese Academy of Sciences, the Faroese Parliament agreed to establish the University of the Faroe Islands with the purpose of carrying out ‘scientific research and teaching at higher education level. It is the duty of the lecturers to promote both’.  With this the Faroese people were given a higher education institution.

The University of the Faroe Islands opened its doors with a single professor, Christian Matras, and a single secretary, Maud Heinesen. In the early years, the University’s activities included one-year courses in natural history and in Faroese for schoolteachers. These courses had initially been offered by The Faroese Academy of Sciences, but were taken over by the University of the Faroe Islands. The one-year courses for schoolteachers were held fairly regularly at the University until the late 1980s, when it was decided that continuing education of schoolteachers should be offered by a former national education authority – Landsskúlafyrisitingin.

In addition to the one-year courses, the University organised public lectures on a range of topics, as well as evening courses in Faroese. In its early years, the University led a collection committee, established in 1967, which was tasked with rescuing Faroese folk culture. As a continuation of this committee, Tjóðlívsnevndin, was appointed in 1970 to collect materials on Faroese popular culture, tradition, folklore, etc. These materials are now held at the Department of Faroese Language and Literature. Furthermore, another committee was set up in 1972 to organise the collection of Faroese hymns and spiritual ballads. Throughout most of its history the University has also arranged annual monograph contests open to all entrants.

A video about the University of the Faroe Islands - with English captions

Below is a video about the University of the Faroe Islands - in Faroese, but with English captions. Click on the cc-icon in the lower right corner of the video to get the English captions:

To get the English captions, please click the cc-icon in the lower right corner of the video.