Connie Dickinson. Foto: TT och Privat
Connie Dickinson. Photo: Michael Berwick/Sveriges Radio and private.

US student sues Swedish university

4:21 min

American Connie Dickinson is suing the Mälardalen University in central Sweden after paying nearly SEK 200,000 for a course, which she says was of poor quality.

Dickinson spent two years studying mathematics and statistics at Mälardalen University in, but quit and asked for her money back. The university chancellery had also deemed the course to be below standard.

Mälardalen University refused to give Dickinson a refund, saying it has no legal obligation to do so.

The Center for Justice (Centrum för rättvisa), which handles Dickinsson’s case, says there is a “legal vacuum”.

“The laws and regulations that are meant to protect consumers within the private sector do not seem to apply to the public sector. That means that one cannot require anyone to take responsibility in cases like this. The law has simply not caught up with other developments,” Center for Justice representatives wrote in an op-ed published Monday in newspaper Dagens Nyheter.

Now, the matter will be taken up by the courts as Dickinsson filed a law suit Monday in the Västmanland district court.

In 2011, Sweden introduced fees for students who are not nationals of either the EU, the ESS or Switzerland. Center for Justice argues that if one has paid for a service, one must be able to demand a certain quality.

”If the public sector does not take responsibility for the fact that the service offered is useless, then that means the consumer will take a great risk when dealing with the public sector,” the Center for Justice argues.

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