Anders Behring Breivik, the right-wing terrorist who killed eight people in a bombing in Oslo and gunned down 69 more when he opened fire on a summer camp on a nearby island in July 2011, is now a college student.
Breivik, who is serving a 21-year prison sentence, has been accepted to the University of Oslo for a bachelor’s in political science. He’ll do his coursework from solitary confinement, without access to the internet or the school’s campus, the university announced today (July 17).
“I realise there are many feelings involved here. He tried to demolish the system. We have to stay faithful to it,” Oslo University rector Ole Petter Ottersen told Reuters.
Breivik previously applied to study at the university in 2013, and according to BBC he has been taking some classes since then. Although he’s now been formally admitted to pursue a degree, none of the professors or students will have contact with Breivik, according to the university’s announcement.
Ottersen has been vocal about welcoming Breivik for a few years. In a 2013 piece for the Guardian, he wrote:
Why should we not trust our system when it comes to access to education? Our rules say that an inmate, like any other citizen in this country, has a right to pursue higher education on the basis of merit. The fact that his application is dealt with in accordance with extant rules and regulations does not imply that Norwegians lack passion or that anger and vengefulness are absent. What it demonstrates is that our values are fundamentally different from his.