History of Education in Iceland

The oldest gymnasiums in the country are Menntaskólinn í Reykjavík and Menntaskólinn á Akureyri. Menntaskólinn í Reykjavík traces its origin to 1056, when a school was established in Skálholt. The school was moved to Reykjavík in 1786, but poor housing conditions forced it to move again in 1805 to Bessastaðir near Reykjavík. In 1846 the school was moved to its current location, and a new building was erected for it in Reykjavík.

The University of Iceland was the first higher education institution in the country, and was established on 17 June 1911, uniting three former Icelandic schools: Prestaskólinn, Læknaskólinn and Lagaskólinn, which taught theology, medicine and law, respectively. The university originally had only faculties for these three fields, in addition to a faculty of humanities. The first rector of the university was Björn M. Ólsen, a professor in the faculty of humanities.