10/22/13 A so-called university sold an MBA degree for thousands of pounds with no academic work required, a BBC Newsnight investigation has revealed.
The American University of London (AUOL) awarded a fictitious person created by the programme a Master’s in Business in exchange for a £4,500 fee.
AUOL has insisted it is “not a bogus university” and defended the robustness of the qualifications it offers.
Newsnight has found hundreds of senior executives listing AUOL qualifications.
The programme contacted some of them, but they all insisted that they had had to study for their degrees.
AUOL styles itself as a pioneer of distance learning, offering degrees and post-graduate qualifications in business, IT, law, education and liberal arts, humanities, and English to more than 100,000 students worldwide.
Its website claims that that all of their courses “have been designed to the most exacting standards, in accordance with the most stringent criteria, in order to provide outstanding education at an affordable price”.
However, Newsnight found that getting the university to provide a qualification without any study at all was easy.
The real “Pete” is a dog living at Battersea Dogs’ Home
The programme drew up a one-page fake CV for a management consultant Peter Smith, known as Pete, living in South London, which included 15 years of made-up work experience and a fictitious undergraduate degree from a UK university.
The real Pete was actually a dog living in Battersea Dogs’ Home.
Newsnight sent “Pete’s” CV to AUOL, along with a completed application for the Master’s in Business (MBA) and £50 application fee.
AUOL also requires applicants to provide photocopies of previous qualifications and a photograph of themselves. However, Newsnight was unable to provide either since the qualifications did not exist and the applicant was a dog.
No courses required
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