Conspiracy professor Tjeerd Andringa resurfaces, this time at Nova Academia

Conspiracy professor Tjeerd Andringa, who was fired from the UG, will be teaching at Nova Academia, a ‘university of conspiracy thinkers’ in a Belgian castle.

Journalistic research platform Follow the Money (FTM) and the Belgian newspaper De Tijd have reported on the matter. The first courses are due to start in September.

According to the founders, Nova Academia will soon offer ‘unprecedented education’ and people can go there to increase their ‘mental development level from a 5 to a 6’, according to FTM.

Andringa will work with dance teacher and Covid activist Willem Engel, convicted of sedition, and professor of economics Paul Frijter. The latter informed FTM and De Tijd that he and his partner Erika Turkstra paid for the Hodbomont castle in the Belgian Ardennes ‘out of their own pockets’.

Conspiracy theories

Tjeerd Andringa was a lecturer in systems view of life at University College Groningen and, UKrant revealed, appeared to force conspiracy theories on first-year students.

An external investigation subsequently launched by the UG confirmed that Andringa allowed conspiracy theories to play an inappropriate role in teaching, that he used one-sided sources, and his methods did not meet academic standards.

He was dismissed by the university in 2022, which was confirmed by the court in 2023 after he challenged his dismissal.

Corona policy

Dance teacher Willem Engel was in the spotlight during the Covid period because of his persistent and fierce criticism of the corona policy. He was among those who claimed that Covid is a conspiracy by the government to push through its repressive policies.

According to FTM, economist Frijter and his partner Erika Turkstra were also ‘part of a circle academics, activists, and conspiracy thinkers who opposed the lockdown measures during the corona pandemic’.


A staff member of De Tijd went undercover during an open day to get a picture of the academy. During that day, it emerged that visitors ‘are led to believe that at mainstream universities, research into the benefits of climate change is impossible’, FTM writes. There is plenty of room for that at Nova Academia, though.

Other introductory lectures covered topics such as how to pay as little tax as possible. According to FTM and De Tijd, attendees were instructed to find out ‘which part of your business you should relocate to, say, Cyprus’.

It also appears that the founders deliberately chose the Ardennes to be able to go about their business in peace and quiet, without much government interference. This also means the programme is not officially registered and therefore students do not receive a recognised diploma.

Paul Cliteur

According to FTM it’s not just the topics being discussed that are interesting, but so are the guests invited to the ‘university’ so far.

Among the guests were retired professor Paul Cliteur – former Forum for Democracy senator – and psychology professor Mattias Desmet. The latter wrote the book The psychology of totalitarianism, in which he rails against what he calls the ‘collective hypnosis’ surrounding the Covid pandemic, according to FTM.

According to FTM and De Tijd, the educational institute is causing a stir in Belgium. The Information and Advice Centre on Harmful Sectarian Organisations, a government body reporting to the Belgian Ministry of Justice, informs De Tijd and FTM that ‘local residents have been asking concerned questions’ about the Nova Academia.

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