There are some who would say it is easier to get through university now than it ever has been. Recent graduates might reply saying there is nothing easy about student debt – but it seems in some cases the naysayers might be right.
The American University of London (AUOL) offers distance learning degrees in business, IT, law, education, arts and more to over 100,000 students worldwide – in fact, BBC Newsnight found hundreds of senior executives wearing their AUOL qualifications with pride.
While all of these executives stated they studied for their degrees, turns out there are a few exceptions. One is being a dog, it turns out.
BBC put together an application for Pete, a dog living at Battersea Dogs’ Home. “Peter Smith” was a management consultant living in South London, with 15 years of work experience and an undergraduate degree from a UK university. These details were chronicled in a one-page fake CV that was sent along with an application for an MBA and the £50 application fee.
Despite omitting photocopies of qualifications and a photo of the applicant, Newsnight was informed four days later that due to his past experience, Pete would be getting his MBA so long as he sent along another £4,500.
AUOL is one of many organisations selling bogus degrees, although insists it is not. The university has been blacklisted in a number of US states, and after giving an MBA to a dog, it is likely this will extend across the world.
While humorous, it does drive home the necessity to double-check all qualifications on a CV, regardless of what country it was obtained in. With many senior executives wearing their AUOL degrees with pride, how likely is it a few with similar qualifications have slipped through in New Zealand?
Watch Newsnight’s investigation unfold here.