The Vigdís Finnbogadóttir Institute for Foreign Languages (VFI) is a research institute within the School of Humanities of the University of Iceland. It provides a fulcrum for academic scholars teaching and researching the languages now taught within the Department of Languages and Cultures: Arabic, Chinese, Danish, English, French, German, Greek, Italian, Japanese, Latin, Russian, Spanish and Swedish.

All tenured teachers in the Department of Languages and Cultures are automatically members of the VFI, unless they make a personal wish to be affiliated with another research institute within the university. Part-time teachers, specialists, scholars, and doctoral students working within the academic programmes of the institute, along with other teachers of the University of Iceland, can apply for affiliation with the VFI while they are studying or working at the university and with the consent of the institute’s board of governors.

The role of the Vigdís Finnbogadóttir Institute for Foreign Languages:

  1. To provide a fulcrum for teaching and research into foreign languages, the educational theory of teaching foreign languages, language acquisition, linguistics, cultural studies, translation theory, literature, and the importance of languages, either on its own initiative or in collaboration with other research institutes;
  2. To support and encourage informed discussion in the academic fields of the institute through publications, conferences, lectures and any other kind of activity that could assist teaching and research and foster increasing collaboration with other universities throughout the world as well as in Icelandic life and society;
  3. To provide research students, post-doctoral fellows and visiting academic scholars the best opportunity and facilities possible for carrying out research in order to strengthen the connection between research and teaching;
  4. To help support the work of the Vigdís International Centre for Multilingualism and Intercultural Understanding.

The institute operates according to regulations agreed to by the governing board of the School of Humanities of the University of Iceland on 22 December 2010.

Like other affiliated institutes of the School of Humanities, the VFI receives annual funding from the University of Iceland through the Centre for Research in the Humanities. The institute has also enjoyed the financial support of a great many Icelandic and foreign individuals and entities to get specific projects started. See further information about the benefactors of the VFI and the Building Fund of the VFI and the VFI Fund.