Anders Breivik, the 34-year-old extremist who killed 77 people in a bomb and gun attack in Norway two years ago, will begin studying political science through the University of Oslo, which The Guardian describes as Norway's "oldest and most illustrious university."

Breivik, who was sentenced to 21 years in jail last summer, will not be attending class on campus. He will study from prison in Skien, Norway, where he is currently being held, according to the BBC. Breivik will be able to borrow books and will have a separate study room made available to him, the prison governor told the BBC.

A right-wing extremist who has said his murder spree was intended to prevent the "Islamization" of Norway, Breivik had his formal application rejected by the university, which said he was not academically capable of pursuing an official degree, per The Telegraph. But the university will still allow him to take individual subjects within the political science field.

Breivik has expressed a desire to promulgate his political views while behind bars, his lawyer, Geir Lippestad, said in July, according to CNN. He even tried to start up his own political party from prison, Lippestad said.

On Thursday, The Guardian published an editorial by Ole Petter Ottersen, rector of the University of Oslo, who explained that Norway's laws allow inmates to pursue higher education while they are incarcerated, and that Breivik should not be an exception to those rules.

"Through the atrocities he committed, Anders Breivik put to test our democracy and our legal institutions," wrote Ottersen. "Why should we not trust our system when it comes to access to education?"

Captions by the Associated Press
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  • Was Breivik's guilt in question?

    Essentially, no. He admitted to the attacks and nothing in the criminal investigation suggested there was anyone else involved. He rejected criminal charges out of principle, saying he did not recognize the court's authority because it represents a political system that supports multiculturalism. But that argument didn't sway the court, and the same goes for his claim that the killings were justified to protect Norway from becoming overrun by Muslims. Breivik probably knew these were hopeless arguments, because he didn't spend much time on them during the trial, focusing instead on trying to prove that he is a political terrorist and not a madman. <em>Caption: Confessed mass killer Anders Behring Breivik smiles as he arrives in the courtroom on Friday, Aug. 24, 2012, in Oslo, Norway. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)</em>

  • What were the possible outcomes?

    The key question for the Oslo court to decide was whether Breivik was sane enough to be held criminally responsible for the attacks. If declared insane, he would have been committed to involuntary psychiatric care, indefinitely. But Breivik was deemed sane by the judges and sentenced to "preventive detention." Unlike a regular prison sentence - which can be no longer than 21 years in Norway - that confinement option can be extended for as long as an inmate is considered dangerous to society. It also offers more programs and therapy than an ordinary prison sentence. Norway, like nearly all of Europe, doesn't have the death penalty. <em>Caption: The defence team members Geir Lippestad, left, and Vibeke Hein Baera react with terror accused Anders Behring Breivik at the center, as the Oslo Court passes judgment against him on Friday, Aug. 24, 2012, in Oslo, Norway. (AP Photo/Heiko Junge/NTB scanpix, Pool)</em>

  • So what happens to Breivik now?

    Breivik will be taken back to Oslo's Ila Prison, where he has been held in isolation for most of the time since his arrest. The prison built a psychiatric ward just for Breivik in case he was declared insane. <em>Caption: Defense lawyer Geir Lippestad , right, and public prosecutor Bejer Engh react during the judgment against Anders Behring Breivik in the Oslo Courthouse on Friday, Aug. 24, 2012. (AP Photo/Cornelius Poppe/NTB scanpix, Pool)</em>

  • What are the conditions like at Ila?

    Outside Scandinavia, it may seem that way, though prison spokeswoman Ellen Bjercke pointed out that the biggest hardship of being incarcerated lies in the fact that you cannot leave. The conditions inside are secondary to the loss of freedom, she said. Norway takes pride in its humane penal system, and living conditions in Norwegian prisons are probably far better than in most other countries. For example, other prisoners at Ila have access to school that offers courses from primary grade to university level courses, a library, a gym, work in the prison's various shops and other leisure activities. Because Breivik is held in isolation, without contact with other prisoners, he doesn't have access to those things. In compensation, Ila has given him three cells instead of one. Each is about 86 square feet (8 square meters.) One has gym equipment, another has a bed and the third a desk with a laptop computer. For at least one hour a day, he has access to a small courtyard surrounded by barbed wire. <em>Caption: Judge Wenche Elisabeth Arntzen, right, and Judge Arne Lyng during the judgment against confessed mass killer Anders Behring Breivik in the Oslo court room on Friday, Aug. 24, 2012. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)</em>

  • Will Breivik ever get out?

    Legal experts say it's unlikely Breivik will ever be released but no one can say for sure. One thing is certain though: it won't happen for as long as Norwegian authorities consider him dangerous to society. Breivik can challenge a "preventive detention" sentence every five years. One of the reasons Breivik's attacks were presented in such gruesome detail during the trial was so that the horror of Oslo and Utoya would be well-documented for the day Breivik asks to be released. "Legally speaking, he could of course theoretically be a free man in some years. But realistically speaking he would be incarcerated for perhaps the rest of his life," said Lasse Qvigstad, a former Oslo chief prosecutor. <em>Caption: Anders Behring Breivik gestures in the courtroom on Friday, Aug. 24, 2012, in Oslo, Norway. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)</em>

  • How does the appeals process work?

    In Norway, both prosecutors and the defendant can appeal all or parts of the ruling. Breivik's lawyer said Thursday that he will appeal if he's declared insane but would accept a prison term. An appeals trial would likely be held early next year. <em>Caption: Anders Behring Breivik listens to the judge in the courtroom on Friday, Aug. 24, 2012, in Oslo, Norway. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)</em>

  • So why did Breivik want to be sent to prison?

    Breivik wants to be seen as a political terrorist, or as he calls himself, a "militant nationalist." During the trial he said that being sent to an insane asylum would be the worst thing that could happen to him and accused Norwegian authorities of trying to cast him as sick to deflate his political views. His lawyers say Breivik is already at work writing sequels to the 1,500-page manifesto he released on the Internet before the attacks. <em>Caption: Professional judge Arne Lyng reads the judgment against confessed mass killer Anders Behring Breivik in the Oslo court room on Friday Aug. 24, 2012. (AP Photo/Cornelius Poppe/NTB scanpix, Pool)</em>

  • Anders Behring Breivik

    The hands of Anders Behring Breivik are seen in handcuffs as he arrives in the courtroom, in Oslo, Norway on Friday, Aug. 24, 2012. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)