Language Policy

Bifröst University is an Icelandic education and research institution, as well as part of the international academic community. Bifröst University’s language policy reflects this dual role.

The guiding principle of the language policy is to safeguard the Icelandic language while at the same time preparing students for active participation in an international environment. Icelandic is the official language of Bifröst University, and Icelandic shall be the main spoken and written language for teaching, research and administration within all departments and divisions.

In teaching, emphasis is placed on developing Icelandic-speaking students’ knowledge of Icelandic scientific terminology, not least if courses are not taught in Icelandic. It is imperative that students be able to express themselves in their native language in their chosen field of study, thereby upholding the University’s educational role within their own society. Instructors are especially encouraged to provide students with guidance on language use, as far as possible, in addition to regular academic and professional guidance. Bifröst University shall purposefully encourage its staff members to attend to the cultivation of their own language, e.g., by publishing research in Icelandic in addition to other languages, and likewise by making their academic publications as accessible to the public as possible.

The strategic policy of Bifröst University states that one of its objectives is to establish itself as a dynamic international university. In order to do so, the University must be able to offer lines of study or individual courses taught in international languages, as demand and circumstances permit. Requirements concerning correct language use in teaching in other languages shall be no less rigorous than for teaching in Icelandic.

Implementation and follow-up

  • The Bifröst University Language Policy shall be visible on the University’s website in Icelandic and English.
  • Language use at Bifröst University shall be exemplary. All material from the University (including website content and interactions via communication media) shall be expressed in correct Icelandic.
  • Foreign employees shall be informed of study opportunities for learning Icelandic and where to obtain information on Icelandic culture.
  • Bifröst University may offer lines of study or individual courses taught in languages other than Icelandic, as demand and circumstances permit.
  • Bifröst University shall endeavour to provide its employees and students with varied assistance in writing and oral presentation, with a view to improving language use. Annual refresher training days for instructors shall include guidance in language use and oral presentation. Students shall receive language guidance via a number of channels, including courses on methodology, presentation and proactivity.
  • Bifröst University requires its employees to present their academic discipline to the public in impeccable Icelandic, both spoken and written.
  • Emphasis is placed on correct language use in students’ final projects, which should be well written and without errors. Guidelines for evaluation of final theses shall stipulate that formatting, presentation, language use, spelling and style be taken into account as part of evaluation.
  • Bifröst University encourages collaboration between all universities in Iceland regarding the development of Icelandic terminology and seeks to participate in collaboration with the aim of facilitating discussion on specialised subjects in Icelandic.

Supervision and responsibility

The Rector is responsible for the Bifröst University Language Policy. The University’s departments and divisions oversee its implementation, as applicable.


Reviewed at a meeting of the University Council, May 15th 2019

Approved by the Rector, June 4th 2019

This is a translation of the document Málstefna. In the event of any discrepancies between the translation and the original text, the original shall take precedence.