Friday 21 July 2017

Chequered history of controversial college

Shane Phelan Investigative Correspondent

WARNBOROUGH College started life as a private institution in Oxford in 1973 and later set up in Ireland in 1997.

Marketing itself as offering foreign students "an Oxford tutorial experience", it ran into trouble in the mid-1990s when a number of American students complained they were misled into believing they had signed up for courses affiliated with Oxford University.

A group of 15 American students walked out of the college in November 1995, with some threatening to sue the college for the recovery of fees of over Stg£13,000-a-year.

The following year, the college went out of business after disputes over promotional material and facilities led to the withdrawal of American government support for its students.

According to reports at the time, creditors hired a private detective to track down Warnborough's founder, Brenden Tempest-Mogg, who was said to have returned to his native Australia.

However, within seven months of the UK college closing, Mr Tempest-Mogg set up Warnborough University Ltd in Ireland with offices in Hanover Street in Cork.

Their offices relocated to Bray and later to All Hallows in Drumcondra, Dublin.

Three years ago they were forced to drop "university" from their title and inserted "college" after being told by the Department of Education they were in breach of an Act.

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