Ministry of Education, Science and Culture (Iceland)
The Ministry of Education, Science and Culture (Mennta- og menningarmálaráðuneytið) is an Icelandic cabinet-level ministry founded 16 December 1942. The ministry is divided into three departments and four offices.
The main areas of responsibility of the Ministry of Education, Science and Culture are as follows: Education, science, culture, media, sports and youth.
Legislation pertaining to all school levels
The Ministry is responsible for the implementation of legislation pertaining to all school levels from pre-primary and compulsory education through the upper secondary and higher education levels, as well as continuing and adult education. This includes the tasks of creating curriculum guides for pre-primary, compulsory and upper secondary schools, issuing regulations and planning educational reforms.
Accreditation to Higher Education Institutions
The Minister of Education, Science and Culture grants accreditation to Higher Education Institutions that fulfil the criteria laid down in national legislation as well as internationally accepted criteria. The Quality Board for Icelandic Higher Education has issued a Quality Enhancement Framework (QEF) that includes various elements of quality assurance and enhancement such as reviews at institutional and subject levels as well as continuing and additional accreditation of HIEs.
While pre-primary and compulsory education is the responsibility of municipalities, central government is responsible for the operation of upper secondary schools and higher education institutions. Although education in Iceland has traditionally been provided by the public sector, a certain number of private institutions are in operation today, primarily at the pre-primary, upper-secondary and higher education levels.
Science and Technology Policy Council
The Science and Technology Policy Council (STPC) is the main body responsible for developing and adopting the general policy on science, technological development and innovation. The STPC is chaired by the Prime Minister, but the council's secretariat is located with the Ministry of Education, Science and Culture.
Arts and heritage sectors and other cultural affairs
The Ministry is responsible for administering the arts and heritage sectors and other cultural affairs in Iceland. The objective of the state's support of the arts and culture is to afford everyone residing in Iceland the opportunity to enjoy arts and culture regardless of their social status, and to ensure a favourable working environment for artists. Government involvement in the arts focuses primarily on the operation of state-run art institutions and support for professional artists. The Ministry also administrates matters concerning museums and the national cultural heritage.
Media Commission and the Icelandic National Broadcasting Service
The media, including the Media Commission and the Icelandic National Broadcasting Service (RÚV), are under the auspices of the Ministry.
The Ministry is responsible for youth affairs outside formal education at governmental level, supports youth organisations in many ways and has conducted youth research since the year 1992. The Ministry is also responsible for sports affairs. To that end the Ministry collects information on the practice of sports in Iceland and the facilities available for sports activities, and supports research in the field. Anti-doping programmes are also under the authority of the Ministry.