Former students of the Westerdals School of Communications in Oslo packed a local courtroom this week as their case against the school drew to a close. They’re claiming reimbursement of NOK 29 million in school fees that they were overcharged from 2003 to 2012.
The former students are angry and disappointed that the state education ministry settled for just half of its own NOK 84 million claim against the school, for violating the terms of its state subsidy, and that Norway’s white-collar crime unit Økokrim decided to drop major fraud charges against the school’s owners and managers at the time. A student’s representative told news bureau NTB that they’re now considering filing new legal action to get Økokrim to reopen the investigation.
“The school has swindled (as much as) NOK 122 million from the public and then the ministry settles for NOK 42 million,” claimed Erling Løken Andersen. “It’s just incredible.”
Westerdals landed in serious trouble after newspaper Dagens Næringsliv (DN) reported, in the fall of 2015, on a long series of irregularities at the school. Some students have accepted partial refunds but not the large group who took the school to court this week.