Icelandic universities saw a 45% increase in applications for teacher education during 2019, following the introduction of several measures.
The final year of study becomes a salaried training period for future teachers, who can also apply for special scholarships to work on their final thesis. These measures were developed in cooperation with universities, the Association of Local Authorities, the Teachers’ Union, the Federation of Industries and the National Parents’ Association; the relevant bill is expected to be put before parliament in autumn 2019.
Iceland has been trying to tackle a shortage of teaching staff since 2015 when teaching professionals received a substantial salary increase, which attract more young people to the profession.
Following the introduction of these measures, applications for new places in teacher education in the first academic semester of 2019 have increased substantially. The University of Iceland reports a 28% increase since 2018 and the Iceland University of the Arts a 170% increase for the same period. Two other relevant universities also report increases, amounting to a total of 45%.