The Icelandic higher education legislation refers to a legislation of services to people with disabilities, which ratifies the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. Therefore, the definition is in line with the UN Convention: “Those who have long-term physical, mental, intellectual or sensory impairments which may hinder their full and effective participation in society on an equal basis with others if not supported”.
Students are expected to selfidentify to the student councelling service with appropriate documentation to apply for reasonable adjustments to do with access, exams, and all other aspects of their studies. Some students may choose not to do so, despite having a disability. By law the higher education institutions are obliged to provide such support (Act on Higher Education nr. 63/2006, article 19: “Higher education institutions shall make provisions to ensure that teaching and special pedagogic support is available to students who have a disability within the meaning of Article 2 of the Act on the affairs of disabled people, No 59/1992, and to students with emotional or social difficulties. The institutions shall provide expert assistance and make appropriate facilities available as needed. Wherever possible, students with disabilities shall pursue their studies in the same venues as other students. Moreover, higher education institutions shall strive to provide special support to students with specific learning difficulties or suffering from an illness.”
By ratifying the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, the Icelandic government committed to ensuring that people with disabilities receive support services that allow them to be active members of society, including in education. These services are in most cases provided by the municipalities and not at governmental level.
The Ministry has not developed a specific strategy for internationalisation in higher education, only quantitative indicators in the national Fiscal Plan.
In Erasmus+, inclusion has been and continues to be a priority area in Iceland. In the new programme period, three staff members at the National Agency have the role of inclusion officers. They are currently working on a national inclusion strategy for Erasmus+ together with external stakeholders, building on the new Erasmus+ inclusion strategy from EC. Special attention will be paid to accessibility in all events and promotional work carried out by the NA.
Students with disabilities will continue to receive an Erasmus+ grant based on real cost in the new programme period. The NA places emphasis on this target group in the promotion of Erasmus+ with the help of role models who have been mobile in the past. See as an example (only in Icelandic): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dvVCc4GMaaYþ
5 per year (Erasmus+ work programme for 2021)
National student loans are fully portable and can thus be obtained for mobility periods abroad. There is no national study grant available in Iceland, however, on timely completion of full time studies part of the National student loan will be converted to a grant.
Students with disabilities will continue to receive an Erasmus+ grant based on real cost in the new programme period. Similar support exists in the Nordplus programme.
Students with disabilities who go on Erasmus+ are entitled to access to the same support services abroad as the local students.
Incoming students are entitled to the same support services at higher education institutions in Iceland as local students, see the reference to national legislation above.