The University of Akureyri (UNAK) was founded in 1987. The first Rector was Haraldur Bessason.Studies were offered in two Faculties: in Health Sciences and in Industrial Management.
Teaching was conducted in two rooms in the sports arena in Akureyri. Two staff offices were in Þingvallastræti 23. There were four permanent employees and 31 students. From the beginning, UNAK has rapidly grown. The range of courses has steadily increased. Students and employees have become more numerous. Various partners have emerged and buildings have risen.
Currently, the University offers programmes in the following subjects: social sciences, media studies, nursing, occupational therapy, teacher training (preschool and primary school), biotechnology, law, police science, modern studies, psychology, fishery studies, computer science, and business administration.Furthermore, graduate programmes are offered in the health sciences, social sciences, business administration and resource studies. As of the 2019 spring semester, UNAK became a full-fledged university with programmes at all levels of university studies when it was given permission to offer doctoral studies.