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 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.
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).
...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.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(!)
"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.
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.