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  1. #33
    Johann is offline Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by mbwa shenzi View Post
    It’s interesting that southamericauniversity dot com is registered to someone in Nigeria. It could mean that business-minded Nigerians have picked up what’s left of Axact but I think – although I don’t have any evidence – that there may have been, let’s say “academic exchange” between Nigeria and Pakistan for quite a while now.
    I believe the registrant is also director/owner of a web-design co...

    J.

  2. #34
    Johann is offline Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by mbwa shenzi View Post
    ACHE was an unrecognized accrediting agency. It’s gone now, but if memory serves me right, it used to accredit Brain Wells University – not a UK university, at the time on the .ws (Western Samoa) top-level domain. As far as I can remember, ACHE shared both phone and fax with a hotel in Wallis & Futuna.
    Nowadays, Brain Wells U. shows a London UK site that's easily found - bwu-dot-ac - and offers many degrees up to M. Phil and Ph.D. claiming OFSTED and other accreditations. I don't know where these degrees might originate - perhaps an offshore BWU location, as Brain Wells U. does not appear to be a listed UK degree provider. At least it says so here: https://www.hedd.ac.uk/viewInstitution?id=746. I am unable to dig up any whois info on the site. Could the ".ac" in this case possibly be the Ascension Island country code, rather than a Commonwealth-orbit .ac domain?

    I believe that over the years Brain Wells U. has had Canadian, UK and Irish addresses - and in its current UK page mentions its birthplace as California. IIRC, you (mbwa shenzi) also mentioned a year or two back that its name was also among the "8 Copthall" group of Dominican company registrations of Universities. That was in the thread-that-shall-not-be-named on another forum.

    J.
    Last edited by Johann; 10-07-2015 at 04:42 PM.

  3. #35
    Kizmet is offline Moderator
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    So then there's the story about the random name generator used to name colleges . . .

    For-Profit Colleges Appear to Use Random WASP College Name Generator*|*David Halperin

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  5. #36
    Johann is offline Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by Johann View Post
    ...Brain Wells U... bwu-dot-ac. Could the ".ac" in this case possibly be the Ascension Island country code, rather than a Commonwealth-orbit .ac (university) domain?
    To answer my own question, I think it has to be. The websites of legit Commonwealth-orbit universities usually have their country-code after the .ac domain - e.g. .ac.uk (UK) .ac.in (India) .ac.za (South Africa) etc. So, I think the rather lonely .ac in BWU's case must indeed be a country code - that of Ascension Island, to be precise. I'm sure I've seen this done before.

    meh. Probably not a topic worth further belabouring or discussion. Sorry if I woke anyone....

    J.
    Last edited by Johann; 10-08-2015 at 04:32 PM.

  6. #37
    SteveFoerster is offline Resident Gadfly
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    We've had this conversation before, and not that long ago. An easy Google search for "university" that only shows results in the .ac domain will tell you that a wide variety of institutions use it, obviously in the sense of "academic" and not Ascension Island. And this is no more surprising than that that most of the sites using the .tv domain concern television shows/networks rather than the country of Tuvalu.
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  7. #38
    Johann is offline Registered User
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    @Steve:

    From the wiki on diploma mills:

    "Some diploma mills use an .ac top-level domain name, which resembles genuine second-level academic domain names like ac.uk but is in fact the ccTLD for Ascension Island.

    Plus - If you go to the main pages of those universities in your Google link - they generally come up as .ac plus country code in the browser bar, as I described. I did that with Huddersfield, Newcastle, East Anglia and Buckingham. All came up with .ac.uk. Two were accessed directly from your linked Google listing.

    this school has zero UK degree-granting authority and consequently I don't think that's a real .ac domain.

    J.
    Last edited by Johann; 10-09-2015 at 03:26 PM.

  8. #39
    Johann is offline Registered User
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    A quote from "Degree Mills - The Billion-Dollar Industry." (Dr. John Bear.)

    "The champion (of foreign locations) is Ascension Island, whose .ac Internet abbreviation is much in demand, since it is easily confused with the British .ac designation used by academic schools. Several dozen "universities" call this rock outcropping with a permanent population of well, zero, their home."

    Are you saying Dr. Bear is wrong, Steve?

    J

    "Toto, we're not in Tuvalu any more..."
    Last edited by Johann; 10-09-2015 at 03:43 PM.

  9. #40
    Johann is offline Registered User
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    Well, here's something. In the same London building as BWU is a Norfolk-Island registered University, International University of America in London. IUA-dot-ac (once again). It shares a lot of wording with the BWU site, and says it was established by the same corporation.

    Here's some info from its page:

    The International University of America (IUA) in London was originally founded and
    incorporated as a degree granting university in the State of California, USA, in 1980. However,
    since 2001, IUA is registered in Norfolk Island, within the Australian Commonwealth and
    more recently (2004) in Mississippi, USA, as a degree granting University. It is accredited and
    validated by the World Association of Universities and Colleges (WAUC), USA."

    I'm sure you remember WAUC - the late Dr. Maxine Asher, Atlantis etc.

    Steve - is this one a genuine .ac (academic) domain?

    J.
    Last edited by Johann; 10-09-2015 at 04:25 PM.

  10. #41
    SteveFoerster is offline Resident Gadfly
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    Johann, yes, they're using the .ac as a link shortener. So what? That's still a legitimate use that clearly shows the relationship of .ac in people's minds to academia.
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  11. #42
    SteveFoerster is offline Resident Gadfly
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    Quote Originally Posted by Johann View Post
    A quote from "Degree Mills - The Billion-Dollar Industry." (Dr. John Bear.)

    "The champion (of foreign locations) is Ascension Island, whose .ac Internet abbreviation is much in demand, since it is easily confused with the British .ac designation used by academic schools. Several dozen "universities" call this rock outcropping with a permanent population of well, zero, their home."

    Are you saying Dr. Bear is wrong, Steve?
    John's valuable work carries a lot of weight with me, but that doesn't mean that I'm going to stop thinking independently just because someone posts a snippet from one of his books, even with a smiley attached.

    Do I expect that some mills use the .ac domain? Sure. And some use the .org domain, some the .com domain, and a few older ones might even have grandfathered .edu domains. So what? You already know that plenty of legitimate universities use .ac domains for various purposes, including as URL shorteners and occasionally, like DIU, as a canonical domain. The same seems to be true of the newer .university domain. Do I wish mills wouldn't do that? Sure. But just because something can be misused by bad guys doesn't mean either that it has no use or that it shouldn't be used by good guys.

    In case your objection has something to do with Ascension Island, country code top level domains from tiny and uninhabited jurisdictions have been used as top level domains of convenience since the '90s. Is it a problem that .io has become a TLD of choice for edgier technology startups even though they're not in the Indian Ocean, or that my wife uses adel.la even though she's not in Laos?
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  13. #43
    John Bear is offline Senior Member
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    At the time Ezell and I wrote that about the .ac designation, we had a list of about 20 fakes that were using it. The biggest user, apparently, is the huge "dark Internet" site, Pirate Bay.

    Many years ago, when I corresponded (postal mail, and boy was it snaily) with an official of some sort in Georgetown, the response was that most of the .ac registrations were in the air conditioning industry, but also some schools and museums.

    There is much evidence that country registration is not an assurance of wonderfulness. Here, for instance, are just the A's on our long list of schools that use, or have used, the ".edu" registration:
    Adam Smith University Adam Smith University of America
    Advanced Theological Seminary www.atsbible.edu
    Allen Mitchell School of Psychology Alhambra Medical University | AMU: Acupuncture School in Los Angeles, California
    American City University www.americancityuni.edu
    American Coastline University www.amercoastuniv.edu
    American College of Martial Science www.acms.edu
    American Global University www.americanglobalu.edu
    American Graduate School of International Relations and Diplomacy www.agsird.edu
    American Institute of Holistic Theology American Institute of Holistic Theology
    American International University (Suriname) www.aiuniversity.edu
    American Liberty University www.libertyuniversity.edu
    American Pacific University (HI) www.ampac.edu
    American State University www.amstu.edu
    American University in London American University in London
    American University of Hawaii American University for Humanities | AUH.edu
    American University of the Caribbean AUC - American University of the Caribbean School of Medicine
    American World University www.awu.edu
    Andrew University °² µÂ ³ ´ó ѧ
    Asia International Open University www.aiou.edu
    Asia Pacific International University Asia-Pacific International University - AIU Website
    Athena University Education for you, wherever you are - Athena.Education
    Atlantic International University Atlantic International University: bachelor, master, doctoral degree programs by distance learning, online, correspondence, or home study. AIU offers an affordable, nontraditional, online university for adult and continuing education via distance lea
    Author/co-author:15 editions of Bears Guide to Earning Degrees by Distance Learning (10 Speed Press/Random House)
    Degree Mills: the billion-dollar industry that has sold more than a million fake diplomas (Prometheus Books)
    Finding Money for College,
    Send This Jerk the Bedbug Letter,
    Computer Wimp,
    How to Repair Food, and dozens more.
    B.A., M.J., University of California Berkeley; Ph.D. Michigan State University

  14. #44
    Johann is offline Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by SteveFoerster View Post
    But just because something can be misused by bad guys doesn't mean either that it has no use or that it shouldn't be used by good guys.
    Right - but as Dr. Bear's work confirms, it IS being used by bad guys. Lots of 'em - more than I knew about, for sure. That's the only use I'm objecting to.

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Foerster
    In case your objection has something to do with Ascension Island, country code top level domains from tiny and uninhabited jurisdictions have been used as top level domains of convenience since the '90s. Is it a problem that .io has become a TLD of choice for edgier technology startups even though they're not in the Indian Ocean, or that my wife uses adel.la even though she's not in Laos?
    No, of course not! I'm only objecting if it appears (to me) that a school may be using certain domains in the hope of looking better than it is - i.e. looking like a school that has mainstream degree-granting authority when it really doesn't. And Dr. Bear has kindly provided us with plenty of examples. If a legit school wants to abbreviate its URL and skip the country code - I have no problem. Of course I have no problem with your wife's using what looks like the Laos country code. In fact, I have no problem with legit use of practically anything -- but there have to be reasonable grounds to believe it's legit.

    Gotta go now. Coursework calls...

    J.
    Last edited by Johann; 10-11-2015 at 09:32 AM.

  15. #45
    Johann is offline Registered User
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    Before I go - there's a THIRD university at that same London address - Richmond University, Richmond -dot-ac. The site says it's incorporated in St. Kitts and Nevis and has a dual-degree agreement with the International University of America in London. Like the other two, it states it was established by M E R C Education Corp. The University says it offers "its own awards" in the UK. I presume from that it means St. Kitts & Nevis-originated degrees, as Richmond has no degree-granting authority for UK degrees. You can check that for yourself - I did.

    Here's the latest info I could find on MERC Education Corp:

    M E R C Education Limited (Dissolved) - Company Information - Endole

    (website given for this co. is the familiar www - iua - dot. ac site)

    Interesting buttons on the Richmond U site:

    "The University Collage" (sic)
    "The School of Gradusate Studies" (sic)

    The Richmond site also refers to Isles International University, but does not specify any particular form of association with that school. If you don't know Isles International, feel free to look it up. The site also states that Prof. Dr. Hans Kempe is Chancellor. You can look him up, too.

    Ok - sounds just like any other dot-ac to me. But what do I know?

    J.
    Last edited by Johann; 10-11-2015 at 11:09 AM.

  16. #46
    Johann is offline Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by Johann View Post
    Here's the latest info I could find on MERC Education Corp:
    Error on my part. The cited company appears related, but it cannot have established the London Campuses. There's an associated MERC company, same principals, Management Education Resource Centre Ltd., that is still running and has been since 1995. I believe this company must be the one that established the London campuses of the Universities, as (I think) at least two were set up in 1995.

    That report is here:

    Management Education Resource Centre Limited - Company Information - Endole

    J.
    Last edited by Johann; 10-11-2015 at 12:21 PM.

  17. #47
    SteveFoerster is offline Resident Gadfly
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    Quote Originally Posted by Johann View Post
    Right - but as Dr. Bear's work confirms, it IS being used by bad guys. Lots of 'em - more than I knew about, for sure. That's the only use I'm objecting to.
    He said they'd found about twenty rotten .ac users. That's bad, of course, but the list he just added here was of those abusing .edu, not .ac., and as he said, that was only the A's. So, please feel free to go on at similar length about the perils of the .edu domain.
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  18. #48
    Johann is offline Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by SteveFoerster View Post
    ...So, please feel free to go on at similar length about the perils of the .edu domain.
    No thanks. Thick as I am, I've finally perceived what a colossal waste of time this is. My objections about .ac have taught me quite enough. If you think - or anyone else thinks - it's OK - then let it be OK. Screw it. The "schools" are going to do exactly as they please, regardless of what you or I might say, anyway.

    I can't stop even one less-than-wonderful school. Never have. So maybe it's time for me to quit gathering them up and putting them under the microscope. Doesn't seem to accomplish anything, except irritate other DI posters. Hell, it's not even fun any more. It was for a while, though!

    J.

    Tout le monde hate me, wey I don't know pourquoi.
    Last edited by Johann; 10-13-2015 at 03:18 PM.

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