Mass killer Anders Breivik enrols in political science course at University of Oslo

Breivik has been studying in jail since his 2012 conviction

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The Independent Online

Anders Breivik, the convicted murderer who claimed the lives of 77 people in a terror attack in Norway, has been accepted to the University of Oslo.

The 39-year-old right-wing extremist will carry out the course in political science in the confines of his cell.

Rector Ole Petter Ottersen said that all inmates in Norwegian prisons are entitled to higher education in Norway if they meet the admission requirements.

The institution’s acceptance comes after his application was rejected two years ago, because his qualifications were deemed insufficient.

“He then didn't meet the admission requirements. Now his grades live up to what is expected,” university spokeswoman Marina Tofting said.

Breivik is currently serving a 21-year prison sentence after he detonated a car bomb that tore through buildings in the heart of Oslo’s government district in 2011, killing eight people. He then posed as a police officer at a summer camp for members of the left-wing Workers’ Youth League (AUF) party on the island of Utoya, and fatally shot 69 participants.

Hours before the attacks, Breivik emailed a 1,500-page, anti-Muslim manifesto, citing counter-jihadist groups who have condemned his actions and dismissed him as a lunatic.

Breivik also claimed to be part of a secretive, non-existent network of Knights Templar.

The university’s decision has sparked a debate over whether a mass-murderer should be able to enrol in higher education, in a nation that is regarded as liberal.

Norway’s justice system focuses on rehabilitating inmates, and therefore allows them to pursue higher education.

 

Breivik will begin his course in August. However, unlike other Oslo students, he will be unable to attend class, access digital learning resources or contact anyone at the institution, Mr Ottersen said.

“The communication between the university and Breivik will take place via a contact person in prison,” he said, adding penitentiary regulations “entail that he will follow the programme by means of independent study in his prison cell”.

Prior to the violent attacks, Breivik attended high schools in Norway and enrolled on an online business management course, however he failed to complete secondary education. He has worked towards this since his incarcerationn in 2012.

“It is important to us that he remains in his cell,” Lisbeth Kristine Roeyneland of the victims' support group told Norwegian news agency NTB.

“To us, it is irrelevant whether he sits there and reads fiction or whether he is studying a book of political science.”

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