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  1. #1
    Kizmet is offline Moderator
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    Pebble Hills "University"

    George Gollin gets a mention in this story on degree mills from Somaliland.

    Somaliland:Diploma Mills Mislead and Defraud Vulnerable Somali Students -
    American College of Sports Medicine

  2. #2
    Tireman 44444 is offline Registered User
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    Speaking of Dr. Gollin, where is he? He has not been round these parts lately.
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  3. #3
    Johann is offline Registered User
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    The article-writer is very late to the party. Pebble Hills U. and all its fishy associations, partnerships, accreditations, heirs, assigns and fart-catchers-in-perpetuity have been mentioned MANY times in this forum as far back as 2004. It is on the Nigerian "banned" list.

    A quick search reveals that Dr. Gollin appears not to have posted here at DI since 2005. Last I heard, he placed second in the 2014 Democratic primary for Illinois's 13th congressional district. I believe he is still teaching physics at U. Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. He regaled us often with his deep insights into degree-mills, complete with "dog-closets," "goat-bags," "galoumfing" and other picturesque terms. You can still get more Dr. Gollin here:

    George Gollin, Dept. of Physics, UIUC

    This is his page about unaccredited schools. Parts go back as far as 2003, but it also has information as recent as the Axact scandal (2015).

    Information concerning unaccredited universities

    J.
    Last edited by Johann; 02-06-2016 at 11:30 AM.

  4. #4
    Kizmet is offline Moderator
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    Quote Originally Posted by Johann View Post
    The article-writer is very late to the party. Pebble Hills U. and all its fishy associations, partnerships, accreditations, heirs, assigns and fart-catchers-in-perpetuity have been mentioned MANY times in this forum as far back as 2004. It is on the Nigerian "banned" list.
    I guess I don't understand your criticism. The problems presented by PHU in Somaliland (and likely other places) in the present day are not lessened in any way by the fact that we talked about this mill in the past.
    American College of Sports Medicine

  5. #5
    Johann is offline Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kizmet View Post
    I guess I don't understand your criticism.
    Let me explain it, then.

    (1) The journalist writes like he's uncovered something new. He hasn't. The "school" has been widely known as a mill for over 10 years. Not just on DI.

    (2) If Somali authorities had done their due diligence on time, they would never have countenanced the Pebble Hills "agreements" with legitimate schools in their country. I also doubt the "school" would have been allowed any foothold whatsoever in Somaliland.

    This is a bad situation - one that, it appears to me, was preventable - and should have been prevented.

    J.
    Last edited by Johann; 02-08-2016 at 03:29 PM.

  6. #6
    Kizmet is offline Moderator
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    Yeah, you're right. After all, it's not like they've got anything else going on there.
    American College of Sports Medicine

  7. #7
    SteveFoerster is offline Resident Gadfly
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    Well, that may be the case in the more southern part of Somalia, but it not really true in the northern part, Somaliland, which is a breakaway republic that comparatively has its act together. But I suppose even Hargeisa isn't exactly Dubai.
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  9. #8
    Johann is offline Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by SteveFoerster View Post
    But I suppose even Hargeisa isn't exactly Dubai.
    No, Steve, I guess not. This from Somaliland journalist Abdihakeem Mussa Ali, Sept 20, 2015:

    "Somaliland is suffering today an overwhelming administrative corruption and rampant bribery that have not been experienced before. The current administration is now conducting massive embezzlement of the public funds and the international aids as well. Nepotism and favoritism are the two common known phenomena observed in Somaliland today which reflects the gloomy image of administrative corruption in a widespread. This phenomenon of corruption is getting worse to the point of threatening our society leading them to the social havoc and severe economic recession. Corruption undermines social services , such as health, education , water, electricity and others, therefore, the people with limited income were extremely affected."

    Whole article here: Somaliland suffers an overwhelming administrative corruption & rampant bribery that have not been experienced before | SomalilandInformer

    Be that as it may (and I'm pretty sure it IS) there are legit Universities in Somaliland. By means of these "agreements" with Pebble Hills, they're just furthering corruption. Normally, I'd expect better from a legit school, but now I've read the above, I suppose all bets are off. It's pretty bad when universities reputed to be legit start enabling a "school" like Pebble Hills, which appears on every "bad" list from Texas to Nigeria! I think it's a case of officials somewhere counting their bribes and quietly going back to chewing their qaat.

    As I said - it was preventable - and should have been prevented. But I'm beginning to understand why it was not.

    J.
    Last edited by Johann; 02-10-2016 at 03:40 PM.

  10. #9
    Johann is offline Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kizmet View Post
    Yeah, you're right. After all, it's not like they've got anything else going on there.
    Do I detect a note of sarcasm?

    I don't remember DI giving an entire country a free pass on "millinery" just because it was war-torn, corrupt or had all kinds of other problems. Take Liberia - please! Remember St. Regis U? Robertstown U? DI was practically afire while thugs were peddling the country's accreditation stamps in the streets of Monrovia! ...Well, almost, anyway... Come to think of it, the afore-mentioned Dr. George Gollin wrote a book on the Liberian scams - and the Americans who bought in.

    No free - or any kind of pass from DI that time - why now?

    J.
    Last edited by Johann; 02-11-2016 at 03:46 PM.

  11. #10
    SteveFoerster is offline Resident Gadfly
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    As an aside, it's not that I don't believe what's in that article, for all I know it's spot on, but I will say that there's a big danger in thinking one knows anything about a place based on one source of unknown bias. With multiple articles from different sources I feel more confident triangulating on an opinion, if that makes sense.
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  12. #11
    Johann is offline Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by SteveFoerster View Post
    With multiple articles from different sources I feel more confident triangulating on an opinion, if that makes sense.
    Makes a lot of sense, Steve. And believe me, there are enough sources to support this view. I just quoted one, so that people could get a taste.

    Issue 648-Editorial: Somaliland’s Government Continues Its Corruption And Tribalism Even In The Month Of Ramadan
    Corruption in Somaliland and its effects on development in human and otherwise | Somaliland.Org
    Somaliland: What Corruption Costs Somalia
    Somaliland journalists jailed after corruption coverage - Global Journalist

    There are many more - from both Somaliland and Somalia. Hopefully some are from journalists who were not jailed and/or stripped of their licences after reporting corruption.

    Would I post here based on one article? Yeah! I do that (and worse) lots of times. But not this time....

    J.
    Last edited by Johann; 02-14-2016 at 09:03 AM.

  13. #12
    SteveFoerster is offline Resident Gadfly
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    Quote Originally Posted by Johann View Post
    Makes a lot of sense, Steve. And believe me, there are enough sources to support this view. I just quoted one, so that people could get a taste.
    Got it. And I see your point is very well supported. I'll still pick Hargeisa over Mogadishu any day of the week, though!
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  14. #13
    mbwa shenzi is offline Registered User
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    Corruption…

    If an old African dog can have a say in this: of course there’s corruption and sometimes it runs deep, but it’s certainly not the only reason you find entities like PHU in various parts of Africa. Any country or region – as you all know - where there’s a lack of or insufficient oversight and/or legislation is a potential Schlaraffenland but there are other factors that come in to play as well. One is familiarity with foreign higher education systems and you don’t have to take my word for it of course, but there are universities in my nooks and crannies too where agreements are happily signed without much consideration to little things like accreditation and recognition.

    Another factor is resources. While it’s possible, even probable, that officials in Somaliland take bribes, this doesn't have to be the sole explanation in this case. It’s equally likely, even probable, that some guy at East Africa University was told by his superiors to “find out if that Pebble Hills University is legitimate” and then did his/her best with the limited resources and information that was at hand. It’s sometimes pretty difficult, even for an experienced admissions officer/credential evaluator with access to databases and good contacts with colleagues and Enic-Narics to determine whether a university is sufficiently accredited/recognized or not.

    In addition to that, PHU is very good at marketing itself so, to East Africa University, there’s probably an element of prestige in this in being able to sign an agreement with an “American University”. The former Vice-Chancellor of Pebble Hills University Nigeria (Nigeria’s first Grand PhD, by the way) sent a letter to my university about eight years ago, including a draft MoU: luckily, our International Office told them “thanks, but no thanks” but they didn’t do very much in terms of due diligence, as it happens.
    Last edited by mbwa shenzi; 02-14-2016 at 10:11 PM.
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  15. #14
    Johann is offline Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by mbwa shenzi
    Any country or region...where there’s a lack of or insufficient oversight and/or legislation is a potential Schlaraffenland...
    Yes - and they're not all in Africa. In case somebody here has never visited Schlaraffenland, here's a tourist's guide: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cockaigne

    One Spanish translation of Schlaraffenland is País de Cucaña. Hablando de español, here's an ad for a Pebble Hills double MBA /DBA combo,
    Master Doble / Doctorado en Administración De Empresas (MBA Dual / Dba) (programa En Línea Pura), EE.UU. Online, Estados Unidos de América 2016

    Pebble Hills has been active in many countries - from Viet Nam to the unrecognized Italian "principality" of Seborga...

    J.
    Last edited by Johann; 02-16-2016 at 02:43 PM.

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