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University appeals ruling to pay damages to American student

Published torsdag 4 maj kl 17.03
Mälardalen University and Connie Dickinson Askenbäck.
Mälardalen University and Connie Dickinson Askenbäck. Credit: Sveriges Radio and Centrum för rättvisa

Mälardalen University is turning to the highest court of appeals in an effort to overturn a decision by a district court, which ruled in favour of an American student who sued them because the quality of the program she was attending was so poor.

"We have the support of the Association of Swedish Higher Education, which represents all other universities and colleges in Sweden. They all think it is important that we take this to the highest authority," said Ann Cederberg, director of Mälardalen University.

Last summer, Mälardalen University was ordered to pay back part of the tuition fees paid by Connie Askenbäck (nee Dickinson) for attending a program in analytical finance, as well as the trial costs and damages. According to the district court, the university had broken their part of a contract with Askenbäck, as the course she attended had been found to be deficient on four of five grades by the National Higher Education Authority. The decision was upheld by an appeals court at the beginning of April.

But according to Cederberg at Mälardalen University, it is not unusual that courses are inspected and criticised for things that need to be improved. She is now hoping that the Supreme Court of Sweden will take on the case and overturn the ruling.

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