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Exposed: scandal of the bogus degrees

THREE bogus Irish 'universities' are selling worthless degrees and are seriously damaging the image of our education system, the Irish Independent can reveal.

The degrees are not recognised by either the Irish or British governments.

Every year students in Malaysia, India, China, Sri Lanka, Africa and elsewhere are paying substantial fees for 'Mickey Mouse' courses and degrees which are not worth the paper they are written on.

And they are doing enormous damage to Ireland's educational reputation.

The damage being done to the system was confirmed by Education International. This is the body charged with promoting Irish education abroad.

Its chief executive John Lynch said it regularly received queries from students who were paying for courses that had no recognition here.

The three bogus universities, which are registered as businesses in this country, are:

� Dublin Metropolitan

University.

� Irish International Universities of Europa.

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� The European University of Ireland.

A director and Vice-Chancellor of the Dublin Metropolitan University is Dr Desmond Fleming from Griannan, Coolbeg, Drumcliffe, Co Sligo who claims to be the 15th Baronet of Killan.

However, the leading authority in this area, Hugh Peskett, an editor with Burke's Peerage said last night the title of Baronet of Killan was bogus.

The second bogus university, Irish International Universities of Europa, which is registered under its Irish name has an impressive website and claims to have a bridging residential campus in Ireland.

It has directors in Sarawak and Borneo.

The address for the third bogus institution, the European University of Ireland is 41 Lower Dominick Street, Dublin.

Its directors are Dr Sivale Arul Vale, 253 Mourne Road Dublin and Nageshwary Devi Rajartnam from 161 Worple Road, Wimbleton, London.

The Department of Education and Science claims two other institutions are also in breach of the 1997 Universities Act by calling themselves universities. They are the Irish University Business School and Warnborough University.

The department has asked them to drop the name university.

A spokesperson said: "Officials from the department are also engaged with the Companies Registration Office to see what options are available to the Minister for Education and Science to de-register the companies under the Companies Acts."

The investigation by the Irish Independent also uncovered the West Coast University with an address at Harcourt Road, Dublin. It is registered under the company name West Coast Institute. A spokesman described it as a 'virtual university'.

WEBSITE

One website links West Coast awards to the International Commission on Open Postsecondary Education in 11d Lower Dorset Street.

But the Dublin spokesperson said he did not know anything about it as there are different West Coast universities worldwide.

Nor could he throw any light on another website linking West Coast University degrees to the Accreditation Council for Higher Education (ACHE) which is based in the Pacific islands of Wallis and Fatuna.

West Coast has directors in Dublin and Thailand.

One of them, Muhammad Ali, is also listed as a Director of the New Castle Institute of Management and Technology Limited.

It is not clear what links this has with the University of New Castle.

The Irish Independent also uncovered three other bogus accrediting bodies.

They are: the Congress for the Accreditation of Educational and Training Organisations; Non-Traditional Course Accreditation Board; the European Recognition Council of Ireland.


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