Convicted mass killer Anders Behring Breivik is going to college. The 36-year-old right-wing extremist, serving 21 years in prison for killing 77 people in politically motivated bomb-and-gun massacres in 2011, has been admitted to the University of Oslo's political science program. He will stay in his cell to study, the university's rector says. Breivik's application was rejected two years ago after the university said his qualifications were insufficient. Though Norway has a rehabilitation-focused justice system aimed at helping inmates prepare for life after they get out, which includes giving them the right to pursue higher education, that submission stirred a debate over whether someone convicted of such a horrific crime should be considered.
Before the 2011 attacks, Breivik attended high schools in Norway and took online course in small business management. But he had not completed secondary education, which he has been working on since his 2012 conviction. "Now his grades live up to what is expected," a university rep says. Breivik will begin the university program next month. Prison regulations will prevent him from going to the Oslo campus, attending classes, accessing digital learning resources, or having any contact with students or university staff, the rector says. "It is important to us that he remains in his cell," says a rep for a victims' support group. "To us, it is irrelevant whether he sits there and reads fiction or whether he is studying a book of political science."