Ari Páll Kristinsson & Haraldur Bernharðsson
Íslenska eða enska í íslensku háskólastarfi

(Icelandic and English in Universities in Iceland)

Útdráttur
Í greininni er gerð úttekt á sambúð íslensku og ensku í íslensku háskólastarfi. Íslensku háskólarnir sjö sérhæfa sig á mismunandi sviðum en þurfa allir annars vegar að sinna innlendum kröfum um rannsóknir, kennslu, þjónustu og þekkingarmiðlun og hins vegar að taka við erlendum stúdentum og starfsmönnum og taka þátt í alþjóðastarfi vísindamanna. Samkvæmt lögum er íslenska mál háskóla eins og annarra íslenskra skóla og nú hafa flestir háskólarnir birt málstefnuskjöl sem tilgreina íslensku sem aðaltungumál og leggja áherslu á íslenskan íðorðaforða. En ytri aðstæður kalla á að enska gegni hér einnig lykilhlutverki.

Nú eru um 6% nemenda og akademískra starfsmanna erlendir og háskólakennslan fer að hluta til fram á ensku. Hlutfall ensku er þó breytilegt eftir tegundum og námsframboði háskólanna (0%‒23% eftir skólum) og eftir námsstigum (minna í grunnnámi, meira í framhaldsnámi). Ríkar kröfur eru gerðar um að akademískir starfsmenn birti niðurstöður sínar á alþjóðlegum vettvangi. Um fjórir fimmtu hlutar fræðilegra skrifa starfsmanna tveggja stærstu háskólanna eru á ensku en miklu munar á fræðasviðum; um helmingur er á ensku í félags-, mennta- og hugvísindum en nærri 97% í verk- og náttúruvísindum og nú eru doktorsritgerðir innan heilbrigðis-, verk- og náttúruvísinda eingöngu skrifaðar á ensku.

Abstract
The article describes the relationship between the use of English and Icelandic in Icelandic universities and academia. While Iceland’s seven universities and colleges specialize in different fields of science and technology, they all have to meet both domestic demands for research, teaching, various service and dissemination of knowledge in Iceland, and also, at the same time, to recruit international faculty, participate in international academic cooperation, and provide study offers for non-Icelandic students. According to Icelandic law, Icelandic is the “language of schools at all levels”, which is a provision that holds for universities and colleges. Presently, six out of seven Icelandic universities and colleges have issued their language policies. All these policies provide that Icelandic is the main language of the institutions, and the policies all emphasize Icelandic terminologies. Obviously, however, English must play a key role along with Icelandic, due to a number of external factors.

At present, approximately 6% of students and faculty at Icelandic higher education institutions are non-Icelandic citizens, and English is partly the language of instruction. The proportion of individual classes taught in English ranges from 0% to 23%, depending on the nature of the institutions and the studies that they offer. It also depends on levels of study (English is less frequent as language of instruction in undergraduate studies, and more frequent in graduate studies, on the whole). Academic staff are strongly encouraged to publish their research results in international fora. About 80% of academic publications of faculty members at the two largest universities in Iceland (i.e., at the University of Iceland, and Reykjavik University) are in English. However, the language of writing differs considerably from one field to another; about half of academic publications are in English in the social sciences, education sciences, and humaniora, while the figure is about 97% in engineering, and natural sciences. Presently, doctoral dissertations in the medical sciences, engineering, and natural sciences are exclusively written in English.