Degree mills: FG blacklists 18 foreign universities

THE Federal Government has shut down 18 foreign universities in Nigeria, warning Nigerians to avoid enrolling in them.

The government labelled the affected institutions as “degree mills,’’ noting that it had not licensed them to operate in the country.

The National Universities Commission (NUC), in a statement published on its website on Tuesday, January 2, stated that the affected universities had been closed down.

It stated, “The National Universities Commission wishes to announce to the general public, especially parents and prospective undergraduates, that the under-listed ‘degree mills’ have not been licensed by the Federal Government and have therefore been closed down for violating the Education (National Minimum Standards, etc.) Act of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004.”

The affected schools include 

  • University of Applied Sciences and Management, Port Novo, Republic of Benin, or any of its other campuses in Nigeria.
  • Volta University College, Ho, Volta Region, Ghana, or any of its other campuses in Nigeria.
  • The International University, Missouri, USA, Kano and Lagos Study Centers; or any of its campuses in Nigeria.
  • Collumbus University, UK operates anywhere in Nigeria.
  • Tiu International University, UK operates anywhere in Nigeria.
  • Pebbles University, UK operates anywhere in Nigeria.
  • London External Studies UK operates anywhere in Nigeria.
  • Pilgrims University operates anywhere in Nigeria.
  • West African Christian University operates anywhere in Nigeria.
  • EC-Council University, USA, Ikeja Lagos Study Centre.
  • Concept College/Universities (London) Ilorin or any of its campuses in Nigeria.
  • Houdegbe North American University campuses in Nigeria.
  • Irish University Business School London, operating anywhere in Nigeria.
  • University of Education, Winneba, Ghana, operating anywhere in Nigeria.
  • Cape Coast University, Ghana, operating anywhere in Nigeria.
  • African University Cooperative Development, Cotonou, Benin Republic, operating anywhere in Nigeria.
  • Pacific Western University, Denver, Colorado, Owerri Study Centre.
  • Evangel University of America and Chudick Management Academic, Lagos.

This latest development came a few hours after the Ministry of Education suspended the evaluation and accreditation for university degrees in the Republic of Benin and Togo.

The ICIR reports that the suspension followed a report by an online newspaper, Daily Nigerian, which exposed how a Cotonou-based university issued a degree certificate to an undercover journalist within six weeks.       

The online newspaper revealed how beneficiaries of these substandard certificates compete for jobs and other opportunities with hard-working graduates who undergo academic rigours for at least four years to obtain their degrees.   

It also reported that the requirements for the fake degree are O-level certificates – fake or genuine – and money, which vary depending on the course, urgency and class of degree.

Having met with an agent, the reporter obtained the certificate and transcript of Ecole Superieure de Gestion et de Technologies, ESGT, Cotonou, Benin Republic, on February 17, 2023.

This was after the reporter paid the required amount, including tuition fees for the duration.

The acquisition of illegal and forged certificates is not new, as The ICIR recently reported how some individuals obtained academic certificates from ‘degree mills.’

In the report, this organisation exposed how a London Graduate school sells fake honourary doctorates to Africans.






     

     

    Independent findings by The ICIR revealed that for $5,000, the London Graduate School and CommonWealth University can award recipients an honorary doctorate in any field of their choice.

    The $5,000 charge is equivalent to N4 million. But in some cases, it can be subsidised at $4,500, which is about N3.5 million.

    The London Graduate School hosts its executive leadership seminars every quarter of the year. Before each event, it sends out invitation letters to random persons who may or may not accept to attend the seminars.

    By tracking social media posts about the institution, the ICIR found several persons who received an invitation letter to attend one of its seminars between 2016 and 2023. Some who accepted the offer believed it was credible, and those who declined considered it fraudulent.

    Usman Mustapha is a solution journalist with International Centre for Investigative Reporting. You can easily reach him via: [email protected]. He tweets @UsmanMustapha_M

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