Universities of Iceland, Minnesota celebrate 40-year partnership
October 11, 2022
Joan T.A. Gabel, president of the University of Minnesota, and Jón Atli Benediktsson, rector of the University of Iceland, signed an agreement extending the partnership between the universities by another five years.
For 40 years, the University of Minnesota and the University of Iceland have fostered a partnership spanning research collaboration and student and faculty exchange. That milestone was celebrated in September in Minneapolis. Jón Atli Benediktsson, rector of the University of Iceland, and Joan T.A. Gabel, president of the University of Minnesota, signed an agreement extending the partnership between the universities by another five years.
“This 40-year partnership is exemplary in advancing excellence in nursing and multiple disciplines in transformative impact in academia, research, mutual learning about health systems and the health of the people and environment. The partnership exemplifies celebration of relationships, cultures and values,” says Dean Connie White Delaney, PhD, RN, FAAN, FACMI, FNAP, who also holds an adjunct professorship at the University of Iceland in both the Faculty of Nursing and the Faculty of Medicine.
In 1982, the University of Minnesota became the first university abroad to sign a bilateral partnership agreement with University of Iceland. Over the years, there has been extensive collaboration between the nursing schools in Iceland and Minnesota.
“The partnership between the faculty of Nursing and Midwifery at the University of Iceland and the School of Nursing at the University of Minnesota has not only added value to the program for students but has also been valuable for the faculty involved,” says Helga Bragadóttir, PhD, RN, FAAN, dean of nursing at the University of Iceland. “The curriculum becomes manifold and richer, with students as well as faculty attaining increased global leadership skills and cultural competence besides students getting exposed to the content of the courses. For our students in Iceland this collaboration had made a huge difference in their education and career development.”
Annually, the School of Nursing offers a global health and management course in Iceland that focuses on international nursing leadership and employee management grounded in population health.
“We are so grateful for the partnership with the University of Iceland,” says Judy Pecachek, DNP, RN, CENP, assistant dean, Doctor of Nursing Practice Program, who co-teaches the course. “Each year we partner with Iceland leadership faculty to co-teach a course with U.S. and Icelandic nursing leadership students focused on different models of health care delivery and explores the impact of a single payer system. Our University of Minnesota students experience life changing health care delivery in a technologically and socially advanced nation.”