The University Centre of the Westfjords, UW, is the smallest institution
operating on an university level in Iceland and offers two international master's programmes which are accredited through the state-run University of Akureyri.

The master's programs in Coastal and Marine Management and Coastal Communities and Regional Development are both cross-disciplinary and international. They form the core of UW and attract both students, instructors, and researchers.

UW focuses the teaching and research on coastal issues and regional development, both as for resource management and social solutions.

UW also offers summer courses and services for Field Schools that come
to the Westfjords. UW has a long standing cooperation with World Learning/SIT in Vermont and hosts one of SIT's master's programmes.

On average, there are around 70-80 students in Ísafjörður studying at UW each year.

For all the residents of the Westfjords who pursue a distance learning
programme at any Iceandic or foreign university, UW acts as a service centre, offering reading space and exam proctoring. Through UW, locals in the area seek further education without the need of moving away.

Throughout the years, UW has built up an immense network of
researchers, instructors and alumni. UW serves both Icelandic and foreign
researchers working in the Westfjords. Although UW started like a
typical teaching university, research by its own staff has been heavily
growing during the last years.

UW is the biggest institution amongst the research and development
cluster in the in the Vestrahús-building, which is a former fish factory in the
harbour area of Ísafjörður.

The University Centre of the Westfjords has been founded by people in the
Westfjords with the aim of fostering development in the Westfjords region.
With that background in mind, UW is a very regionally thinking institution
while it has become, at the same time, one of the most international
institutions amongst the universities in Iceland.