Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Bogus Universities? (III)

In an issue that I almost completely forgot - the third instalment of the Bogus Universities post (see Part I and Part II) - is to warn over eager Malaysian students who fall prey to unscrupulous agents marketing higher education qualifications of bogus universities.

The New Straits Times highlighted a complaint from the Irish Ambassador to Malaysia Daniel Mulhall on the 23rd July, calling on our Government to take action against the "Irish International University" for committing deception by parading itself as an Irish university.
"They do not offer any courses or conduct any classes in Ireland. I find the name is itself a deception because they are neither Irish nor a university. I think the Malaysian authorities are aware of this and I hope they will take action to prevent people from being deceived into thinking they have qualifications from an Irish university."

He said he was even "offended" to see the Irish native language used in the institution's prospectus, and to add insult to injury, the Gaelic words were misspelt.

"And I have never heard of the Dublin European Institute," he said, referring to an entity which the Irish International University claims is its 'bridging campus'.
It was also reported that the Irish International University had the cheek to say that it was a legitimate life-long learning institution and a "new concept" university. Yes, this "new concept" university will not require you any "real" coursework to obtain your degree certificates.

What's more, in a clearly intricate plan to confuse and mislead potential students, and of course allowing some of these students to "confuse and mislead" their potential employers, these universities will typically name their respective faculties in a prestigious fashion in order to "pass off" as credible. For example, the "Irish National University" named its "campuses" - European Business School, London Executive Schools International and Dublin European Institute.

Interestingly, Mulhall said that the embassy had raised the issue with the Higher Education Ministry on a few occasions since the previous year but apparently no actions were taken. To quote our Parliamentary opposition leader, Lim Kit Siang in his statement made on the above issue:
What is shocking is that the Ministry of Higher Education and the JPA had been parties to the scam by the Irish International University and the Cambridgeshire University [another dodgy university attempting to "pass off" as something more], whose degrees are not accredited nor recognized in the United Kingdom, United States or Ireland, by giving written assurances to Malaysians that their degrees were recognized by the Malaysian government.
It is indeed shocking that it was made known by Kit Siang that these written assurances include:
  • A letter by JPA dated 13th December 1999 on recognition of the Master of Business Administration (MBA) and Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degrees of the Irish International University, provided the first degree is recognized by the government.

  • A letter by Department of Higher Education, Ministry of Education dated 31st October 2003 that the courses of Cambridgeshire University for Ijazah Pertama, Ijazah Sarjana and Ijazah Kedotoran are recognized by the Ministry.

  • A letter by JPA dated 21st June 2004 that Cambridgeshire University is among the list of universities recognized by JPA.
The denial syndrome was of course in immediate play for a ministry source was quoted by the Star as having said that "its hands were tied as the university was run by legitimate companies whose operations were conducted entirely online." Is that how the Ministry of Higher Education run its affairs - that it's not at all responsible for unscrupulous companies offering dubious higher education qualifications in Malaysia? The Minister of Higher Education was quoted that "his ministry was trying to rectify the problem quickly." It has been more than a month since that promise made on July 26th. Have the responsible officers for the fiasco been investigated and punished accordingly? I have yet to hear anything happening at the Ministry which is deluged with plenty of other incompetencies.

Even the government mouthpiece, the New Straits Times asked publicly: "Were there hidden hands in the Higher Education Ministry and the Public Service Department helping bogus universities operate in the country?"

6 comments:

clk said...

I find the MOE's stand puzzling when they recognise this "degree mill" and do not recognise the mother of distance learning in the UK, the OpenU...

blastmeister said...

probably the authority in JPA or MOE are getting money above table for putting these bogus unis in the list of unis recognized by MOE/Malaysia

Anonymous said...

Is the qualifications recognised in the United States:

The European Union and the United States of America has renewed the agreement on higher education and vocational training for another eight-year period (2006-2013). The agreement was signed on 21 June 2006 at the EU-US Summit in Vienna and it renews and reinforces the long-standing EU-US cooperation programme that was established in 1995. The programme is funded and managed jointly by the European Commission and by the US Department of Education. It aims primarily at promoting understanding between the peoples of the European Union and the United States of America and improving the quality of their human resource development.

Anonymous said...

The Irish International University.

Question?
Is the qualifications recognised in the United States:

The European Union and the United States of America has renewed the agreement on higher education and vocational training for another eight-year period (2006-2013). The agreement was signed on 21 June 2006 at the EU-US Summit in Vienna and it renews and reinforces the long-standing EU-US cooperation programme that was established in 1995. The programme is funded and managed jointly by the European Commission and by the US Department of Education. It aims primarily at promoting understanding between the peoples of the European Union and the United States of America and improving the quality of their human resource development.

Anonymous said...

the standard of education in Europe seems to be much higher than in the USA. Most qualifications in the USA are earned by finacial means than actual acedemic means.

Wong said...

Is Camford Business School Pte. Ltd. (associated to CES Group Ptd. Ltd.) recognised in the United States and Malaysia?? May I know?? Thanks..