MDH appeals against the verdict to the Supreme Court

May 05, 2017 | Education Student Global

In April the verdict came from the Svea Court of Appeal on the question of the fee-paying student who is claiming a refund of her tuition fees from MDH. The University has now decided to appeal against the verdict to the Swedish Supreme Court.

- MDH is appealing against the verdict to the Supreme Court, an appeal also backed by SUHF, the Association of Swedish Higher Education. We have decided to take this further since it is an important issue, not only for the individual student in this case, but for all fee-paying students and the HEIs that receive them. It’s a question of legal security for everyone. When the Government introduced tuition fees for international students in 2011 we were never given an answer to the question of how to deal with the situation that we have now been placed in. It has to be made quite clear what rules apply, says Ann Cederberg, Univeristy Director at MDH.

The Svea Court of Appeal was of the opinion, just as the Västmanland District Court was, that there existed a mutually binding agreement between the student and the University. However, the Svea Court of Appeal considers, unlike the District Court, that since the student has been able to profit by a number of higher education credits and has participated in four semesters of education, MDH shall not refund the whole but instead a half of the tuition fee to the student. Furthermore, one of the appeal judges dissented and considered that the University should not refund any of the tuition fee at all.

Why MDH is appealing

The higher education sector wishes to establish a precedent on the question of whether a civil law agreement exists between a fee-paying student and a higher education institution. This is important both for the students and all state-owned HEIs.

The higher education sector wishes to know whether an evaluation by a state supervisory authority such as the Swedish Higher Education Authority can be used as evidence for there being a concrete fault in a study programme.

The higher education sector needs to receive an answer to the question concerning how a civil law agreement affects the HEI’s possibilities of taking corrective measures to rectify any flaws in a study programme.

Now MDH will have to await a decision from the Swedish Supreme Court as to whether they decide to grant leave to appeal. Should the Supreme Court decline leave to appeal, the verdict from the Svea Court of Appeal will apply.

About the Bachelor’s degree in Mathematics in question

The Bachelor’s degree in Mathematics in question in the verdict was given an assessment of high quality by the Swedish Higher Education Authority, UKÄ, in the spring 2015. This means that this and all other study programmes evaluated by UKÄ at MDH have the assessment today of high or very high quality.