Summary of laws and regulations about entrance requirements at AUI
In Act No. 57/1999 (attachment 1.1) on Agricultural education, with subsequent amendments, it is stated in
Students who begin agricultural studies at the agricultural educational institutions (for Bachelors degree) must have completed matriculation examinations or other comparable studies, or, in the opinion of the university’s administration, possess equivalent maturity and knowledge. The university’s administration board may decide to impose special additional conditions for admission in each specified academic study programme. Admission conditions and course requirements for studies at the agricultural educational institutions should correspond to the requirements made by accredited universities in comparable fields abroad.
From the Regulations for the Agricultural University of Iceland – University faculties (Attachment 5.1):
1.2 Entry requirements
Students from other universities can also take part of their studies at the Agricultural University if this is stipulated in a special agreement between the institutions. In order to enrol, a student must pay registration fees on time pursuant to Act No. 57/1999 regarding agricultural education.
1.3 Evaluation of previous studies
1.3.1 Other university studies
Students who have already completed a university subject equivalent to one offered by the Agricultural University of Iceland can receive credit for that subject. This is contingent upon the approval of the Education Committee. Official results for previous studies shall be provided before teaching begins in the subject concerned.
1.3.2 Professional experience
A student can apply to have professional experience in the field of study credited for up to 6 elective units (ECTS). Professional experience constitutes work of at least 2 months standing which is shown to increase the student’s competence or insight into working in her/his field.
As a rule, applications to have professional experience replace an elective subject shall be submitted before the elective subject commences and shall include an outline from the prospective employer about what the student’s work will entail, along with comments from the teacher concerned. In order to gain approval from the Education Committee, the student shall provide a brief explanation of the work. In the record of results the units shall thus be listed without a course number but labelled Professional work with a grade of A (appraised). Such applications to have professional work credited shall be addressed to the Education Committee.
2 Master’s Degree (MS, 120 ECTS)
2.1 Master’s Degree, arrangement and application
One may apply for a Master’s, MS, at the completion of a BS or Bachelor’s degree. The course consists of subjects and research projects and culminates in the composition of a thesis or theses and/or other original work as applicable. It may also be stipulated that an applicant sit an oral exam in certain subjects and hold a public lecture. The Education Committee and faculties deal with course matters.
The role of the Education Committee is to process applications and approve changes to the programme and seek the opinion and approval of faculties. For an MS by research, a student consults one of the University teachers (principal supervisor cf. 2.8) and works on an MS project under her/his management or supervision according to an agreement made between the parties which is an MS course agreement filled out using a form available at the Education Office. The agreement includes a description of the research, its aim, as well as an overview of those MS subjects which the student is taking as part of the MS programme. The application should also specify how the research is being financed. A student may also work on the MS project under the management of a Sessional Instructor. An application for the Master’s Degree shall accompany the aforementioned agreement about the MS course, as well as curriculum vitć of the supervisor and/or guarantor as appropriate (see 2.8). The application deadline for Master’s Degrees is typically 15 April and 15 September. In the MS programme organised for those with little research work (30 standard units) students may finalise the research-project agreement after the course has begun. Generally, the agreement shall be finalised no later than the end of the first academic year of the MS course.
2.2 Application process
Applications shall be submitted to the Education Office. Once an application has been processed by the Education Committee it is sent to the faculty. The faculty provides a recommendation to the Education Committee who notifies applicants of the outcome in writing. Applications submitted before 15 April for enrolment in the autumn semester are processed and answered by 25 May. Applications submitted before 15 October for enrolment in the spring semester are processed and answered by 15 November. If the Education Committee or faculty denies a student entry, it shall explain its decision. Changes to the programme are contingent upon the approval of the Education Committee.
2.3 Entry requirements
In order to enrol in the Master’s programme, an applicant is required to pay a registration fee and to have successfully completed a BS degree from AUI, or an equivalent academic qualification which the faculty recognises, with an average grade of at least 6.5, for the BS. The abovementioned stipulation about minimum grades may be waived if strongly recommended by a supervisor and the Education Committee.
Agricultural University of Iceland Regulations for the Doctoral Programme
(Ph.D. 180 ECTS) (Attachment 5.2)
Art. 1. The Agricultural University of Iceland’s Education Committee and faculties
The Education Committee of the Agricultural University of Iceland, along with faculties, handles matters concerning doctorates within the University. The role of the Committee is to process doctorate applications after deliberation by faculties.
The Committee shall also manage major changes to a course plan after studies commence. A student can refer a dispute with the Doctoral Committee to the Education Committee.
Summary of laws paragraphs and regulations about students rights and obligations at AUI
Following law articles and regulations apply for AUI student rights concerning appeal procedures:
Higher Education Institution Act No. 63/2006 Article 20
The Minister of Education, Science and Culture appoints a board of appeal to deal with Higher Education Institution students’ complaints. The three-person board is appointed for two years at a time; one representative is appointed by the rector’s conference, one representative is jointly appointed by student unions, and one is appointed without nomination and shall be the chairman of the board. All the representatives must fulfil the general requirements made by law to be appointed a district court judge. Alternate representatives are appointed in the same way. Appeals to the board fall under VII. chapter of the administrative procedures act.
An appeal can thus not be made to the board unless the higher education institution has issued a final decision on the rights and duties of the student involved. The student is however permitted to appeal to the board the procedure used by institution in handling of written complaint is according to law and good administrative procedure, and the board will comment on the issue. The rulings of the board of appeal are final at that administrative level and can not be appealed to the Minister.
The Minister of Education, Science and Culture is authorised to formulate further rules for the procedure of the board of appeal.
Act on Agricultural Education – No. 57 of 19 March 1999 (Appendix A1)
The Minister of Agriculture shall adopt [regulations]1) concerning the following issues in the operation of the agricultural educational institutions:
1. The methods that are to be applied when fulfilling agricultural educational institution obligations concerning control of the quality of the education, the qualifications of teachers and the organization of the external quality control system.
2. How the institutions fulfil their research role, their duties with regard to controlling the quality of research and the use of the funds allocated for that purpose.
3. Complaints and/or the right of students to appeal in cases where they are of the opinion that their rights have been violated. Such rules may contain provisions to the effect that appeals by students shall be referred to a special appeals committee that has final ruling powers.
[4. Division of duties between individual educational institutions]1)
1) Act No. 71/2004, Article 3.
Regulations for the Agricultural University of Iceland (Appendix A2) Agreed by the University Council, 16 February 2005.
Art. 12 Education Committee
The Education Committee comprises the Vice Rector of Academic Affairs, who is the Chair, the Academic Coordinator, Programme Coordinators and three student representatives – a vocational, undergraduate and research student. The Education Committee deals with the Course Catalogue for individual programmes, shapes registration rules and the supervision of study progress, defines course requirements, sets guidelines for assessment and for appraisal of other courses, monitors the quality of courses and teaching and determines improvements as required in cooperation with University management. The Committee also handles technical issues in training and teaching collaboration with other universities. The Education Committee settles controversial issues which may arise in the process of teaching or course assessment. Decisions made by the Education Committee may be appealed to the Rector.
Regulations for the Agricultural University of Iceland- University Faculties –
(Appendix A3) Agreed by the University Council 3 March 2006, effective 1 July 2006,
1.7.2 Assessment of exams and right of appeal.
Solutions to written exams shall be assessed by the respective teacher. A student has the right to view her/his exam solutions with a teacher and have the assessment explained if s/he requests. As a rule, this request shall be submitted no more than 10 days after the results are announced. Viewing exams is arranged by agreement between a student and a teacher. If a student wishes to challenge a grade, s/he shall submit written comments to the Academic Coordinator within three working days of viewing the exam. It’s possible to lodge an appeal about assessment with the Education Committee which makes a decision concerning the appeal or nominates a moderator.
CODE OF ETHICS of the Agricultural University of Iceland agreed by the University Council May 9, 2007 (Attachment 5.3),
Section: Organisation, Sanctions and Appeals
1. A special Ethics Committee operates at the Agricultural University of Iceland, the role of which is to judge whether ethical rules have been upheld. The Ethics Committee is elected by the Academic Council and consists of one representative of the University staff, one students’ representative and a Chairman nominated by the Rector. This Chairman shall as a rule also be a tenured teacher at the University.
2. The Committee accepts comments and appeals from parities outside and inside the University. It has jurisdiction over staff and students and their actions within the University community, both inside and outside the institution. The Committee shall not take up any issues at own initiative.
3. When reviewing cases the Committee shall uphold the main rule of the administrative code on gathering information, moderation and the right of appeal.
4. The Committee’s ruling shall be substantiated and conclusive as to whether the Code of Ethics rules have been broken or not.
5. A breach of the Code of Ethics results in a reprimand at a first violation, but can also lead to an expulsion or a dismissal from work for a repeated or a serious violation according to the regulations.
6. The Committee does not take any decisions on penalties for a violation. This is done by the Rector.