In most countries, higher education bodies are regulated and accredited by the state. The USA is different in that such accreditation is carried out by non-profit associations.
Scammers like to give themselves fake qualifications and accreditations to make them appear more trustworthy.
Some go to the lengths of creating their own accreditation bodies, then giving accreditations to themselves and other scammers and some fake universities will happily give out degrees to anyone willing to pay. This is all disguised to look both legal and respected.
To try to counter this misinformation, there are several national and international organisations that publish lists of accreditation bodies and accredited educational institutions and some also list organisations that claim to be accredited but are not recognised.
Essay Mills, Diploma Mills, Fake Universities, Fake Accreditation Bodies etc. all come from the same strand of enabling people to ‘cheat’.
Organisations that offer an essay writing service are known as essay mills. This service is supposedly for research purposes but the reality is that a lot of students use these services to submit essays for assessment as part of their course.
Some essay mills display fake accreditation – either made-up or from fake accreditation bodies.
It’s easy for people to be deceived, for example, when the essay mill claims to be accredited by The UNESCO Accreditation Body, although some people would realise that while UNESCO works in the field of education they don’t accreditations education organisations in developed countries..
These are organisations that offer diplomas, degrees, PhDs etc. to anyone willing to pay the price. The cover they use is that awards are based on ‘life experience’ but this means there is little or no studying involved and generally no exams, just a payment.
An accreditation mill is an organization that purports to award educational accreditation to higher education institutions without having government authority or recognition from mainstream academia to operate as an accreditor.
Accreditation mills are much like diploma mills, and in many cases are closely associated with diploma mills. The "accreditation" they supply has no legal or academic value, but is used in diploma mill marketing to help attract students.
Some scammers create these supposed accreditation bodies to get themselves accreditations but some make this their full time role, offering accreditations to anyone ready to pay.
Some institutions obtain accreditation from an independent group with low standards. In other cases, the institution sets up its own seemingly independent accreditation board and then accredits itself. This gives the appearance that an outside group has approved the education that is offered at the school.
Rochville University (according to Wikipedia)
One early such accreditation mill was Rochville University, which is still online selling degrees at http://www.rochvilleuniversity.net/
This describes itself as a leading online university, catering to the educational needs of over 38,000 working adults and individuals. Rochville University is an online diploma mill offering a "Life Experience Degree, and Certificate Program" without coursework or prior transcript evaluation.
The phrase from their website “We are able to help those students who wish to get accredited degrees on the basis of their life/work experience” is the give-away that it’s not about studying or examinations..
Its operation is believed to be centered in Pakistan, and its diplomas and degree certificates have been mailed from Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Along with many similar enterprises, it is owned by the Karachi based company, Axact, whose main business, according to a New York Times investigation, is "to take the centuries-old scam of selling fake academic degrees and turn it into an Internet-era scheme on a global scale".
Because Rochville University is not accredited by any recognized accreditation bodies in the United States, its degrees and credits are unlikely to be acceptable to employers or academic institutions. Jurisdictions that have restricted or made illegal the use of credentials from unaccredited schools include
Pug Dog Earns Online MBA in Rochville University Scam
The website www.geteducated.com reports the following story about Rochville University.
Chester Ludlow, a pug dog from Vermont, has been awarded an online MBA degree (master's in business administration) by Rochville University—an online college that offers life and work experience degrees.
Chester is believed to be the first dog to be awarded an online master's degree based on work and life experience credentials.
But did he earn it—or did he buy it?
“The difference between earning a college degree online or buying one is key,” says Vicky Phillips, founder of GetEducated.com.
Chester is the GetEducated.com mascot. He submitted his resume—along with $499—to Rochville University online. A week later, an express packet arrived from a post office box in Dubai.
Rochville University kept its word. The dog had an instant, fast degree. Also, a cheap online MBA degree considering he paid only $499 whereas the average cost of a real distance MBA degree in the U.S. is close to $25,000.
The instant degree package contained Chester’s distance MBA diploma, two sets of college transcripts, a certificate of distinction in finance, and a certificate of membership in the student council.
The paperwork says the pup “earned” a GPA of 3.19 (for an additional $100, he could have graduated with honours).
All documents were issued in the dog’s AKC pedigree name: Chester Ludlow. Chester also received a Rochville University window decal for his car (though reportedly the canine does not drive).
The Open International University for Complementary Medicines in Sri Lanka
They say their aims are to:-
· To advance the scientific study and professional practice of Medicines, by encouraging its development by promoting research, living high standards of professional ethics, competence, conduct, education, qualification and achievement among practitioners.
· To carry out the promotion and the dissemination of knowledge and philosophy of Medicines through local and International Meeting, lectures, seminars, workshops, reports, papers, discussions, publications and professional contacts.
· To encourage a wide interest among the public and Medicines and all ancillary areas of knowledge and practice
Some people do believe in the university and have attended courses organised by the University but many others believe it is the biggest diploma mill in the world having given/sold over 1 million diplomas.
If you have any experiences with scammers, spammers or time-wasters do let me know – go to the About page then Contact Us.