The education system in the Faroe Islands is made up of three main levels: primary and secondary education, upper secondary education, and higher education.
The Faroe Islands have a thriving, world-class education culture, in which everyone is given the opportunity to pursue their own unique potential. The education system is based on the belief that everyone should have equal access to educational attainment, and this means that all levels of education, from primary school to higher education, are available to the whole population for free.
The ‘fólkaskúli’ is the official institution for primary and lower secondary education in the Faroe Islands. It provides the compulsory schooling from first to ninth grade as well as the optional tenth year. Some of the schools also offer optional preschool education.
There are many options available for those wishing to pursue upper secondary education in the Faroe Islands, with eight different schools offering different types of courses that qualify students for higher education.
The ‘College’ is a 3-year academically oriented upper secondary education, which prepares students for higher education. When students graduate , they can apply to go to university anywhere in the world. The classification of the ‘average mark’ is based on oral exams, written exams and yearly awarded marks. There are five Colleges schools in the Faroe Islands:
Glasir.fo in Tórshavn
Miðnám á Kambsdali in Eysturoy
Miðnámsskúlin í Suðuroy in Suðuroy
TSK (Tekniski Skúlin í Klaksvík) - Technical College
Miðnám í Vestmanna - Ressource College
The Technical Colleges offer courses in carpentry, electronic cabling, plumbing, motor mechanics, hairdressing, and other vocational areas. These courses must be studied alongside an apprenticeship in the relevant industry. The colleges also offer 2-year introductory courses in clothes making, design, metal, electricity, car mechanics and carpentry. These courses give access to study technical and creative subjects in higher educational institutions. Finally, the Technical College in Tórshavn offers 2-year long higher education courses in production technology and building technology. There are two technical colleges in the Faroe Islands:
The Ressource College in Vestmanna offers a 3-year upper secondary education specialising in the fishing industry and food science. Upon graduation, students can pursue higher education, especially in subjects related to the fishing industry.
The University of the Faroe Islands is a state-run university located in Tórshavn, the capital of the Faroe Islands.
The University is made up of three Departments and two Schools, which offer Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees. It is also possible to do Doctoral degrees at the University, and there are several Ph.D. students and postdocs currently working in the University departments.
The Maritime School in Klaksvik offers a half-year course in maritime affairs. It also provides a one and a half year long course to become a qualified captain. In addition to this, the school offers short courses in maritime-related subjects.
The Centre of Maritime Studies & Engineering in Tórshavn offers a three-year long education to become a shipmaster and a three-year long education to become a marine engineer. It also offers shorter versions of these educations, as well as shorter courses in subjects relating to the maritime industry.
The Public Health School in Suðuroy offers courses in health and caring. They offer a basic one year and three months course in healthcare and a further education of one year to become qualified as a health visitor.
The School of Home Economics is a boarding school, which offers a half-year course in food and diet, hygiene, and crafts such as sowing and embroidering.
The Folk High School is a boarding school that emphasises personal development. It is located in Tórshavn and offers half-year courses and shorter courses focussing on the humanities, arts and creative subjects.
The Faroese Folk high School in Tvøroyri is a boarding school that emphasises faroese culture and history and personal development.
The Sport Folk High School in Vági is a boarding school that emphasises sport, culture and personal development.
The Folk High School Brúgvin in Skálavík is a boarding school that emphasises christian values, social and personal development.
The Faroese Music School administers and develops music teaching for students around the Faroe Islands, enabling them to attend individual classes and to play in ensembles. The teachers at the Music School are qualified musicians, who have been educated at music conservatories or equivalent higher educational institutions. The school offers internationally recognised music exams for students. It also gives student the possibility to prepare for a higher education in music while attending upper secondary school.
The Evening School is available to all residents in the municipalities. The Schools offers courses in a vast array of subjects, from arts and crafts to languages and genealogy. Many municipalities also offer Faroese language classes for foreigners.
There is a thriving and growing research culture in the Faroe Islands, with several institutes, labs and museums working on exciting, original research projects. Many research ventures that are connected to the Faroe Islands are funded by the Faroese Research Council, which manages the largest research foundation in the country.
Research Park iNOVA is located in Tórshavn, where private enterprise and public institutions can access state-of-the-art laboratories, instruments, offices and an event location. iNOVA was created as a part of a coordinated effort by the state and an array of the largest private enterprises on the islands to improve the scientific infrastructure of the Faroe Islands.
iNOVA is an unique scientific environment, where research departments of private companies shares a roof with the university and public research institutions, granting improved access to high-end instruments and allowing coordinated cooperation and shared skills and competences between users.
The Department for Occupational Medicine and Public Health has considerable experience in Faroese and international medical research.
The National Hospital of the Faroe Islands has in recent years been involved in a growing number of research projects, many in collaboration with the Genetic Biobank.
The Genetic Biobank is an independent unit within the Faroese health services which has a coordinating and administrative function. One of its main tasks is to evaluate applications from researchers that wish to use the Faroese genealogy database, the clinical database and the biobank.
The Museum of Natural History conducts research, documents findings and disseminates knowledge about biology to the public. The specific focus areas of the museum’s research are Faroese ecosystems and biodiversity, whales and seals, climate change, nature in the north and bird ringing.
The Historical Museum collects, catalogues and exhibits archaeological as well as more recent specimens that shed light on the way of living, working conditions and culture of the Faroe Islands.
The Faroese Earth and Energy Directorate is a governmental directorate under the Ministry of Trade and Industry. It administers research into hydrocarbon activity, natural resources, petroleum exploration and other geological subjects.
The Environment Agency is a governmental agency under the Ministry of the Interior. Its research areas include examinations of pollution in animals, humans, nature and urban areas. It also maintains an environmental specimen bank with various biological items suitable for further research.
Faroe Marine Research Institute is a governmental research institute which conducts marine research and provides the government with scientific advice on marine resources, environment and sustainability. The aim of the research is to provide a basis for responsible fishing in Faroese oceans.
The Aquaculture Research Station is a public company that conducts research into aquaculture and related areas. The aim is to use scientific knowledge to increase the quality of aquacultural products from the Faroe Islands.