On the Bifröst University Teaching Policy
It is the policy of Bifröst University to offer outstanding education that provides students with extensive knowledge in their field of study, enhances their broadmindedness and critical thinking and strengthens their creativity. Emphasis is laid on (a) strengthening students’ ability to employ professional work methods and apply theories and concepts in problem-solving and (b) enhancing their ability to find solutions for concrete problems. Bifröst University thereby aims to provide students with the best possible preparation for participation in democratic society and the economy or for continuing studies. Bifröst University fulfils the requirements made for studies in those disciplines for which the University has been accredited.
Teaching methods and organisation of teaching
Teaching at Bifröst University involves diverse teaching methods that emphasise autonomous work methods for students, with solid academic support from instructors. Bifröst University therefore expects students to engage in extensive project work, which sharpens students’ initiative and responsibility, as well as their cooperative skills when group work is at issue. Diversity and professionalism are emphasised in course assessment. There shall likewise be congruence between teaching methods, course assessment and intended learning outcomes.
Bifröst University adopts teaching methods based on the use of online lectures, rigorous project work and examinations or final projects. Students have the opportunity to engage with instructors in person during working weekends. Students living on the Bifröst campus have the additional option of meeting weekly with their instructor on campus if a minimum number of students enrol in the course.
Bifröst University stresses that students should use face-to-face time with their instructors for project work or discussions on course-related topics, as applicable, and watch instructors’ lectures online. A point is made of providing students with internship opportunities, at both the undergraduate and Master’s level.
Bifröst University endeavours to hire competent instructors with a strong academic background, organisational skills that allow them to prepare their teaching well and the desire and ability to impart their knowledge in a systematic way that fosters a positive and creative environment.
Instructors at Bifröst University shall display initiative in pursuing innovation and developing their instruction methods. Bifröst University makes a point of providing instructors with opportunities for continuous education and training in their respective disciplines. In the same vein, instructors shall familiarise themselves thoroughly with the Rules on Study and Teaching at Bifröst University and the Quality Manual, and they must fulfil all requirements stipulated therein.
Teaching and connections with research and development projects
Bifröst University encourages instructors to connect their research and/or field of expertise with their teaching activities, to the extent that this is possible. Students at Bifröst University have the opportunity to participate in research or development projects under instructor supervision, as applicable at any given time, and thus receive training in scholarly work methods.
Teaching and connections with economy and society
A special point is made of connecting student learning and project work with the economy and society. Bifröst University aims to provide students with opportunities to complete real-life assignments for businesses, public agencies, NGOs and municipalities. This will prepare students still better for future participation in the various economic sectors after the completion of their studies. Bifröst University places no less emphasis on social projects that aim to benefit the local community, including regional development projects, guided by principles of sustainability and social responsibility.
Teaching and international collaboration
Student and staff exchange is an integral part of the University’s operations, giving students the opportunity to complete part of their studies at a university abroad. In the same vein, it is the policy of Bifröst University to provide its employees with opportunities to participate in teacher and staff exchange. Bifröst University likewise endeavours to increase collaboration with universities outside Iceland by way of joint course offerings or lines of study funded by third-party grants.
Teaching facilities and working conditions for instructors and students
Bifröst University endeavours to provide good working conditions for teaching and learning, not least in terms of its buildings, technology, services and learning management system. The University endeavours to provide good service for instructors and students that solidly supports them in their teaching and learning.
Quality management for learning and teaching
Programmes offered by the University and the organisation of study programmes shall be regularly reviewed, with the aim of maintaining and enhancing the quality of studies, meeting students’ needs and securing them a solid foundation for participation in the various sectors of the economy and in society or for graduate studies.
Bifröst University has a representative on the Quality Board for Icelandic Higher Education, and the University’s operations are assessed on a regular basis, through both internal evaluation and regular external assessment of the quality of studies and teaching. Student evaluation of teaching is conducted regularly for individual courses, and the results of teaching evaluation are presented to instructors each semester. The instructor and the respective supervisor shall subsequently examine what elements require improvement and what is well done. Academic Services is responsible for uniformity of presentation for course plans and student assessment for individual courses through systematic quality control for all departments of the University.
The Code of Ethics and ethical guidelines
Instructors and students at Bifröst University must familiarise themselves with and abide by the University’s Code of Ethics. Students bear full responsibility for their own studies and study progress. Relations between instructors and students shall be characterised by mutual courtesy, integrity and respect.
Implementation and follow-up
The academic departments of Bifröst University and Academic Services are responsible for the implementation of the Bifröst University Teaching Policy and follow-up.
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 Kennslustefna. In the event of any discrepancies between the translation and the original text, the original shall take precedence.