Sunday, February 10, 2008

Markets in Everything- Fake Degrees

Bogus university scam uncovered
The bogus Irish International University (IIU), which offers sub-standard and worthless degrees, has been allowed to flourish in the UK - virtually unchecked by the government - for the last seven years.

Although the organisation is unaccredited, hundreds of students have been given educational visas to enter Britain and take its exams at private colleges in London.

The IIU, which has 5,000 students worldwide and thousands of graduates, maintains the illusion of a valid education through its elaborate but highly misleading website.

This illusion is enhanced by the university's continued use of Oxford and Cambridge facilities to stage its award ceremonies.

After each event photographs appear on the IIU website showing happy students receiving awards at the UK's best seats of learning.

Our investigation took us from London to Dublin, Oxford and finally Monte Carlo in search of those behind the IIU.

A BBC journalist and an actor posing as fake academic were invited to the IIU's award ceremony which, surprisingly, was held at the Divinity School, next to the Bodleian Library, in the very heart of Oxford University.

The ceremony was due to go ahead at Cambridge, but after BBC London alerted the university authorities the event was cancelled. That did not stop the IIU switching venues to Oxford at the last minute.

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