Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Shhh... Don't tell PM Hun Sen he was duped into accepting bogus honorary doctor from IIU, he was so proud ot it

The university staged an award ceremony in Oxford (Photo: BBC) ...

... and also in Phnom Penh
(Photo: Extracted from Hun Sen's Cambodia New Vision, April 2004)

Bogus university duped top businesswoman into handing out its degrees

The CEO of the Chartered Management Institute handed back the honorary doctorship she was awarded by a bogus university

January 7, 2008
By Dominic Kennedy The Times (UK)

A leading businesswoman has been embarrassed into handing back an honorary doctorship she was awarded by a bogus university.

Mary Chapman, chief executive of the Chartered Management Institute, agreed to be guest of honour at the “graduation ceremony” for the Irish International University.

But the institution, which hires rooms at Oxford for its degree events, is neither Irish nor a university. It encourages foreigners to spend thousands of pounds coming to Britain to study for worthless qualifications.

Ms Chapman, who since 1998 has run Britain’s 73,000-strong association for managers, previously known as the British Institute of Management, was hoodwinked into handing out certificates at last year’s degree ceremony.

The Irish International University put her picture on its website to help to recruit more overseas applicants. The University of Oxford has banned the self-styled independent university from using its premises.

Private colleges offering its courses are on Britain’s official Register of Education and Training Providers. Although the institution is unaccredited, hundreds of students have been given educational visas to enter Britain. By 2009 all colleges wishing to bring in overseas applicants will need to be accredited. The Irish International University’s website boasts of a campus in Dublin but the address is only a mailbox. Universities in Ireland must be endorsed by the education ministry. However, a loophole in Irish law allows businesses to register names with “university” in their titles.

The university’s web pages claim that its degrees are backed by the “Quality Assurance Commission”. The body was traced to an office in North London where a woman was answering phones on behalf of various companies; there were no signs that a commission existed.

The university’s honorary chancellor and head of its council, known as “His Excellency Baron Knowth”, was tracked by BBC London to Monte Carlo, where he is a tax exile. He also has a £1.2 million townhouse in Kensington, West London.

Talking to an undercover reporter, the honorary chancellor, in fact a chartered accountant called Jeffrey Wooller, admitted: “Of course it’s dodgy. So long as they’re happy, what difference does it make? It’s not accredited so it’s not recognised anywhere.

“They [students] get their degree, they go to the convocation and employers accept the degrees. They’re happy, they tell their friends and the university multiplies. The university is giving value for money.” Students work towards their qualifications although questions have been raised about the academic rigour involved.

Hardeep Singh Sandhu, executive president of the university’s governing council, said the university had never claimed to be accredited in Britain but he would be happy for it to be inspected. References to the Dublin campus and Quality Assurance Commission had now been removed from the website. The Chartered Management Institute said Ms Chapman attended the graduation ceremony in good faith. Her organisation had now severed all links with the bogus university.


Anonymous said...

Oh well! Does Mr. Hun Sen have the courage to hand back the bogus Honorary Doctoral Degree in Political Science back to the Irish International University?

Mr. Hun Sen as a former farmer pagoda boy always has thirst for knowledge and somehow he can't seem to attain the so called knowledge and this is very reason why he kept looking and listening to the Vietcong master!

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

He is just a silly man who has been trying to obtain something he doesn't deserve. A degree is awarded only to those who spent their real time to study.