Thanks to reader H in Leeds, we now learn that the Open University of Malaysia (OUM), which was embroiled in a discriminatory controversy earlier, is offering Masters and PhD programmes. Of interest is that they are now offering PhD programmes in Engineering. It is worth noting that even The Open University in the United Kingdom (UK) does not offer PhD programmes. The highest level offered in The Open University, UK is taught Masters, and even then, none in the scientific fields such as Engineering. I wonder what makes OUM think that they will be able to deliver quality programmes in these postgraduate fields, when its more established compatriot in the UK doesn't deem them appropriate.
Anyway, this post isn't about the quality of postgraduate programmes at OUM. It is more interesting to note that in the online application form for postgraduate programmes for OUM, there is a default list of 36 universities accepted by (or deemed acceptable to) OUM. In it, you'd 21 local universities and colleges, and 15 foreign ones.
Yes, as some of you might have guessed, the now infamous Irish International University (IIU) forms part of the list. So it appears now that one of the easiest way to obtain an accreditated postgraduate degree from OUM is to first obtain an unaccreditated one from a bogus university!
As a general reminder for readers who may not have read the earlier posts on bogus universities, the Office of Degree Authorisation of Oregon, United States have listed the Irish International University as a bogus university. In IIU's case, it specifically mentioned that:
The Irish government has requested that Malaysia close this entity on grounds that it is neither Irish nor a university. It has obtained a business license in a Swiss canton, but is not a Swiss university.But hey, it doesn't matter, our very own OUM recognises IIU qualifications. And IIU isn't the only dodgy institution deemed acceptable, there is one Asia Pacific International University which similarly provides dubious qualifications on the list.
Separately, it was absolutely mind-boggling how the list of 15 foreign institutions were selected to be part of the drop down menu. The list of illuminaries include the University of Cambridge, juxtaposed against the Anglia Polytechnic University, an Australian Northern Territory University and no other Australian institutions.
Ok, so I'm miffed that Oxford isn't part of the list that is deemed "acceptable". But then again, maybe I should have a laugh at Kian Ming for going to a university deemed comparable to Irish International University! :)