Thursday, September 01, 2005

Student vs Bogus Universities

Further to my blog post on the bogus universities - "Irish International University" and "Cambridgeshire University", it was reported in the New Straits Times on 30th August that a victim of these universities won a court battle against the unscrupulous education provider.
After a year-long battle filled with sleepless nights and tireless research, Sidney Yap Yee Lan has won her fight against an education provider.

The Consumer Claims Tribunal today ruled in favour of Yap, and ordered NetAcademy Sdn Bhd to pay her RM13,672.34, the sum she paid for a Master of Business Administration (MBA).
The case was highlighted by NST earlier on the 19th July, which led to the furore over the role of our Ministry of Higher Education in the entire debacle.
...Yap had told the tribunal that after a year of classes under the MBA programme of the Irish International University, she and her classmates were abruptly asked to transfer to the programme of Cambridgeshire University. When she suspected the universities were unaccredited and unrecognised here, she spent months making calls and sending emails and faxes to educational and government bodies to obtain proof and official confirmation.

"When I realised they were bogus, I tried to get my money back but they refused, even saying they would sue me for defamation." She said she was happy with the decision but felt that the fight against bogus institutions was not over as they were still in operation.
Yes, the fight against bogus institutions is indeed far from over, and we are really really interested to know what the Higher Education Ministry is doing if these "education providers" are still in operation(!)

While there are obviously innocent victims to these unscrupulous providers of bogus higher learning qualifications, I doubt that all these students were all that innocent. Many may, in fact be seeking an easy way obtain credible-sounding degree certificates in their pursuits for employment and status.

The best advice I can provide genuine prospective students seriously seeking higher education is really to do some basic research. With the information through Internet being so widely available, a simple search of the "university name" and "diploma mill" on Google will provide one with the "real" reputation of the institution. It's a simple step that cost a few minutes and a few cents which will save you thousands of ringgit and months of agony.

The next bit of advice I can provide is that students should be more concerned about the "education" they will be receiving from these institutions (both valid and bogus) because having higher qualifications, such as an "MBA" from a university with poor reputation is not going to do much for the person. Very simply, I will be more willing to pay more for a fresh graduate with above average results from say, Universiti Malaya than someone who performed averagely at degree level but obtained an MBA.

3 comments:

globalsan said...

I agree with Tony. Before one embarks any postgraduate course, one must do thorough homework like visit the website of the uiversity, education fair or even call up the embassy to enquire.

Long before the case of Yap, I had read one news regarding a court case in Johore concerning the local agent of "Irish International University". In fact I key in google and run a search, and went into the website. I was not impressed and suspected something fishy about this uni.

To my amusement, the photo of one of the local agent was in the website and addressed as "professor so and so".

The title of "professor" just dont match the young man's age.

There are always tell-tale signs that something is not just correct. Caveat Emptor! Let's justify our hard-earned money for something worth the value !

Just another instance, I often puzzle how students end up in unrecognised dental school in Philippines or unrecognised medical school in Pakistan.

These are so called 'licensed course' and students must check thoroughly before they embark the course.

well...One has to be responsible for one's decision, and dont always blame the authority not recognizing this and that.


The qualifying exam can be a ordeal ! Dont regret later !

Anonymous said...

Hi guys,

I know I'm a bit late in posting my comment as I happened to stumble across this article.

Could someone please tell me if the degree I got from Netacademy / CMI is legitimate.

Sidney Paige said...

Thanks for posting this and warning many against the scam.

Sidney Yap