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Thursday, June 13, 2024

‘University’ moves under threat

They’ve called themselves “The Scandinavian University” but operated from a house in Stavanger, have no authority from the Norwegian government and no registration of the several hundred staff members they claimed to employ. Now those behind the “university” are “moving” it to the Middle East.

Newspaper Aftenposten reported last week that officials in Norway’s Ministry of Education objected to “The Scandinavian University” calling itself a “university” when it had no authorization to do so. The term is protected in Norway, and last week the government formally forbid use of the name “The Scandinavian University” and threatened the chairman, Loai Deeb, with police charges.

The ministry feared potential students at the non-authorized institution could be mislead into thinking it was accredited. It was registered as a business in Norway in 2007, according to Aftenposten, but state files still show it has zero employees and is not included in a main business tax register (momsregisteret, which authorizes collection of VAT, called MVA or moms in Norwegian).

Deeb had claimed to be an international university with 175 professors, 275 employees with PhD degrees and more than 300 lecturers, mostly in Arabic. He claimed plans to expand in Syria, Lebanon, Sudan and Dubai.

Storefront universities have become a major problem in the UK, where police fear they’re used as a ruse for obtaining visas. Deeb told Aftenposten “The Scandinavian University” will now move its operation out of Norway soon, claiming it only had its administrative office in Stavanger.

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