40 former students at Bjørknes College have sued the school. They are demanding compensation for what they believe is misleading marketing and incorrect information of bachelor program in nutritional physiology of the school.
The 40 students thought they qualified for the title “nutritionist” after completing the bachelor’s program at the school between 2009 and 2015.
Until 2009, this was the case, but in November that year nutritionist became a protected title, that only was available for people who had studied to become a nutritionist at certain schools, which did not include Bjørknes College
The 40 former students claim that they were not informed about this, and that the school used the title in advertisements for education and examination papers.
Several of the students have been laid off after they in January 2015 became aware that they were not allowed to use the title, while others have had difficulties obtaining relevant work.
– Bjørknes College perceive the lawsuit to be unfounded and that it seems to be based on misconceptions about their expertise and professional opportunities , lawyer Pål Kvernaas law firm Haavind writes in an email. He represents Bjørknes College in the lawsuit.
In February 2015 the Norwegian association of nutrition professionals (NEFF) was established They students who have taken Bjørknes College to court are members of this association. The Association Director Michaela Getz said that although they do not have anything to do with the lawsuits , they work to assist their members.
– Our association was established because we saw there was a great need to put more political pressure on the Ministry, and to find a transitional solution, and a permanent solution for these students, says Getz said.
The students are now seeking compensation from Bjørknes College, and the first claim was tabled on 10 March 2015.
Bjørknes responded by offering NEFF a settlement of 100,000 kroner, ie NOK 2,500 per client.
– They used that offer to just to show they have actually offered some compensation. They want to give money to our association, but we have nothing to do with the lawsuit, Getz says.
– It’s hard to take the offer seriously, she continues.
Source: NTB scanpix / Norway Today