There are 10 years of free and compulsory compulsory
education for anyone between the ages of 6 and 16. 75% of
children attend preschool, which parents have to pay for.
The Ministry of Education is responsible for all education
from kindergarten to adult education. In 1995, the school
was decentralized and is now the responsibility of the local
authorities. The central curriculum of 1999 emphasizes the
teaching of foreign languages. English is compulsory from
5th grade and Danish from 7th grade. In the 10th school
year, Icelandic, Danish, English, mathematics, social
sciences, natural sciences and social orientation and
physical education are compulsory subjects.
The secondary school offers a varied offer to everyone
and covers the age group 16-20 years. The 4-year high school
(high school) prepares for college and university
studies; 2- to 4-year high schools provide both theoretical
and vocational education. There are also special vocational
and vocational schools. Almost all students continue in high
school. See TOPSCHOOLSINTHEUSA for TOEFL, ACT, SAT testing locations and high school codes in Iceland.
Iceland has 5 universities. The oldest is the University
of Reykjavík, Háskóli Islands, which was founded in 1911.
Many students study abroad, either in Scandinavia or the
2008 Economic collapse
The global economic crisis of 2008 hit Iceland hard. The
previous 5 years had been characterized by high economic
growth rates and extensive Icelandic investment in other
parts of Europe, but the entire financial circus was based
on foreign loans and therefore collapsed with the global
crisis. It was a school example that when "the market is
left to itself" as neoliberalists - e.g. combined with CEPOS
wishes, it produces deep crises. The Icelandic banking
system had been completely deregulated in 2001.
In mid-2008, Iceland's foreign debt was DKK 50 billion. €
equivalent to 6 times the annual GDP. The banks accounted
for 80% of this amount. One of them - Landsbanki - had
branches in the UK, the Netherlands and Guernsey under the
name Icesave where private individuals were lured into
deposits at high interest rates. In the UK alone, Icesave
had deposits for 6.5 billion. Ł in September 2008.
When the crisis broke out in September, around ˝ million
Private savers in these countries deposited in Icesave,
which they began to withdraw. It emptied both Iceland's and
Landsbanki's foreign exchange reserves in a matter of weeks.
Landsbanki simply went bankrupt and within a few weeks was
followed by the two other Icelandic major banks Glitnir and
Kaupthing. All three banks were nationalized and taken over
by the Icelandic state.
As a result of the collapse of major banks and the
economy, on 6 October the European financial institutions
canceled all foreign currency transfers to Iceland. The
state then had to assume responsibility for foreign exchange
trading for the following 2 months. Immense restrictions
were immediately imposed on who and how much currency could
be bought at all. The collapse had spread to the private
borrowers at this time. In previous years, many private
individuals had been encouraged to take out home and
consumer loans in foreign currency. The collapse of the
currency trade caused the exchange rate to fall from 70
ISK/€ at the beginning of the year to over 250 ISK/€. Thus,
interest rates and repayments on private loans became more
than 3 times more expensive and caused many private
individuals to go bankrupt, or threw them into deep
The United Kingdom now applied its terrorist legislation
to Iceland. On October 8, the UK Parliament frozen all of
Icesave's and Landsbanki's assets in the UK in an effort to
secure the approximately 300,000 UK customers of the bank. A
similar step was taken in Norway 1 week later, and in the
other European countries where the Icelandic banks had
branches, severe restrictions were imposed.
The Icelandic stock exchange also collapsed. From a peak
in 2007 when the stock market index reached over 9000, it
fell to 200 in December 2008 - equivalent to the stock
market losing 97.8% of its value. The bank collapse
accounted for the majority of this collapse.
Assistance to Iceland began slowly to come in October -
for fear that the Icelandic collapse would lead to the whole
of Iceland going bankrupt and that the bankruptcy would drag
down a large number of European banks. In early October,
Iceland tried - in vain - to get financial support from
Russia. On October 14, Norway and Denmark each provided DKK
200 million. € as part of the swap agreements. On October 24
gave the IMF a tentative commitment to a loan of DKK 1.58
billion US $. However, Icelanders were appalled by the
stringent requirements that came with the loan. A policy the
IMF for the last 30 years has applied to the Third World,
but which the developed countries had not been exposed to.
However, the loan commitment was blocked by the UK and the
Netherlands who would first have guarantees that their ˝
million. private customers could get their receivables in
Icesave. On November 19, the IMF could announce a deal that
gave Iceland $ 4.6 billion. US $. The $ 2.1 billion directly
from the IMF and an additional $ 2.6 billion from Norway,
Sweden, Finland and Denmark. Poland subsequently offered DKK
200 million. US $ (the largest group of guest workers in
Iceland were Poles) and the Faroe Islands offered 50
million. US $ (equivalent to 3% of Faroese GDP). Germany,
The UK and the Netherlands subsequently put together a loan
package worth $ 5 billion. € to solve the problem with the
half million Icesave savers.