Your Rights

Students have rights within the University of Iceland that are good to be aware of. Here are some examples of the rights you have as a student.

SHÍ’s Rights Office

At the Student Rights Office, you will receive free advice on problems that may arise within the university and how you can seek amends. We can take up cases if requested and maintain anonymity unless otherwise stated. However, the assistance does not replace legal assistance. If you want to send an inquiry or book an appointment, send an email to shi@hi.is or call +354 570-0850, or visit the office on the 3rd floor of the University Centre (Háskólatorg) directly above the Student Bookstore. The office is open between 9 and 17 during workdays.

Students’ rights in exams.

Exams are for registered students and can be oral, written or practical. Registration for a course is also registration for an exam, regardless of whether the assessment is presented with a written or oral exam, practice work, assignments or essay.

Students are required to have an identity card and present it when they take the exam so that it can be ascertained that they have the right to take the exam. Teachers are responsible for examinations, but each faculty decides on the arrangements for examinations so far as there are no binding provisions to that effect in the University’s law or rules. The material to be tested should be tested as widely as possible.

In the case of oral examinations, which are considered to be final examinations, there shall be an examiner from outside the University, but written and practical examinations shall be judged by the teachers concerned only, unless the faculty decides otherwise. The advertised examination date will only be changed by a decision of the dean of the faculty, after consultation with the director of the teaching department, and with the written consent of all those who are registered for the examination in question.

Grades must be published no later than two weeks after the examination, but no later than three weeks after each autumn semester examination in December. Assessment other than written or oral examination, is based on the submission date of the dissertation / project or the day on which the assessment takes place.

A student has the right to receive an explanation from a teacher of the assessment of his or her written solution, if they send a request within fifteen days of the publication of the grade. Teachers are allowed to hold a test exhibition for all course students where the assessment of written solutions is explained. If a student who has not passed an examination does not like the teacher’s assessment, they can turn to the relevant dean. An examiner shall then be appointed in each case. A teacher or the majority of students in a course may, if they consider it a special reason, request the appointment of an examiner for an individual examination. The result of an examiner appointed after a teacher’s grade has been published may lead to a decrease or increase in the published grade when it is weighed against the teacher’s assessment.

A student who becomes ill and therefore cannot take an examination must submit a medical certificate to Háskólatorg’s service desk within three days of the examination date. The same applies if a student’s child falls ill. If a student falls ill during an examination, they must draw the attention of the examination guard who writes a comment about it on the examination solution. A medical certificate dated the same day shall be returned to the service desk. Medical exams are held following general exam periods in December and May, for 4 – 5 days according to further decision by the director of examinations. Faculties may, after consultation with the director of examinations, use the period in the spring for medical examinations of both teaching terms.

Further information can be found in the University’s procedures for good teaching and examination practices.

About the process of complaints and grievances.

All decisions of the school authorities can be appealed according to administrative law. Article 50 applies to the course of complaints and student complaints. Rules for the University of Iceland no. 569/2009 are accessible below. If a student considers that their rights regarding teaching, examinations, assessment, grading, assessment of academic progress or anything else related to teaching and examinations have been violated, they shall send a written request to the faculty office. It shall clearly state what the issue is, what the student’s claim is and the reasons for it. The department shall discuss the issue as soon as possible and process it, usually no later than within two months of receiving the report.

If a case is extensive and it is foreseeable that processing will take longer, the person concerned shall be notified and specify when processing is expected. If a student does not have a faculty decision, they can refer their case to the School Board for ruling. Such submissions shall be sent to the office of the school. The faculties and board of the school do not re-evaluate exam solutions or the professional results of teachers or examiners. An applicant for enrolment in postgraduate studies may submit the refusal of the faculty and, as the case may be, the Board of Studies to the board of the relevant school. In the case of interdisciplinary studies, the decision may be submitted to the board of the school that oversees the study, unless otherwise decided in the rules on the study.

Matters will not be referred to the board of the school until a decision has been reached by the faculty, according to the first or second paragraph, or three months have elapsed since the complaint was first submitted in writing to the department. The president of that faculty is involved in a vacancy in the discussion and handling of such matters in the board of the school.

Decisions of the School Board according to this Article may be appealed to the Appeals Committee in the Complaints of University Students pursuant to Article 20. Act no. 63/2006 on universities. The committee does not re-evaluate exam solutions or the professional results of teachers, juries or examiners. Cases will not be referred to the Appeals Committee until the Board of the School has made a decision in the case or three months have elapsed since the complaint was first submitted in writing to the Board of the School. Authorization to appeal shall be given when announcing decisions under this Article. More information can be found here

UI rules

Act on Public Universities, no. 85/2008, entered into force on 20 June 2008 (subsequently amended by Act No. 140/2013). The rules set by the University Council of the University of Iceland are a further elaboration of this law that applies to the University. That is the rules of the University of Iceland.

Under these rules, there are various procedures that the university follows. The procedures directly related to student affairs are as follows:

The University also has a so-called code of ethics, and cases that have violated the code of ethics can be appealed to the Ethics Committee of the University of Iceland.