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  1. #1
    Kizmet is offline Moderator
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  2. #2
    SteveFoerster is offline Resident Gadfly
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    Sad to see they listed Swiss Management Center on there. Whatever SMC is, it's clearly not fake.
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  3. #3
    Johann is offline Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Foerster
    Whatever SMC is, it's clearly not fake.
    Right. As I said on DI about SMC and its ACBSP-accredited programs in 2010 "It seems running approved programs at a decent school for a reasonable fee sometimes isn't enough." Déjà vu all over again - Yogi Berra?

    J.
    Last edited by Johann; 08-04-2016 at 02:39 PM.

  4. #4
    Intlprof is offline Registered User
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    Not saying it is a fake school, but...While the SMC doctorate appeared to have some utility, that value seems to be evaporating.

    Besides Ghana, SMC is not being accepted by MOHESR in UAE either. ACBSP is tightening standards, it will be interesting to see how the requirement to have governmental recognition plays out for SMC.

    As mentioned, paying an additional fee and then a university in Nicaragua certifies SMC's DBA as equivalent to a PhD, hmmmm...

  5. #5
    Intlprof is offline Registered User
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    Follow the link and read the report...

  6. #6
    SteveFoerster is offline Resident Gadfly
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    Quote Originally Posted by Intlprof View Post
    Follow the link and read the report...
    I did. I do understand the conflict of interest with SMC's representative in Ghana. Still, it's not a fake school and shouldn't be tagged as one.
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  7. #7
    Neuhaus is offline Registered User
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    I don't think SMC belongs on a list of "fake universities." But I do like how the original article seems to have attempted to provide accurate information.

    SMC is not accredited by any of the bodies they list. ACBSP is not recognized by "OPE." And ACBSP does only accredit programs and not institutions.

    The report is clearly trying to be scathing and is clearly based upon a non-understanding of how accreditation in the U.S. works. From the report:

    Second, the information from the NAB triggered a further search on the link between
    the SMC, the ACBSP, the CHEA, and the OPE. The following facts were unraveled: I. The
    ACBSP is not recognized by the OPE as one of its accreditation agencies (in other words, the
    ACBSP does not have the seal of authority from the US Department of Education ). The
    ACBSP derives its accreditation powers the CHEA which is a private organization and also
    not an agency of the OPE. II. According to the ACBSP itself, it “does not accredit the
    institution, only the business programs at the institution” (ACBSP, 2016, June 10). III. The
    ACBSP provides caveats to students. According to the ACBSP, “most businesses and
    universities reviewing transcripts and accepting degrees for employment or advanced degrees
    base their decisions on the existence of action by a local, regional or national authority
    regarding the institution and the authority to grant degrees” (ACBSP, 2016, June 10). IV.
    Specifically, the ACBSP points out that “for institutions located within the US, regional
    accreditation of the institution is required for membership accreditation eligibility” (so,
    instead of the NAB evaluating the SMC on its merit to determine the fit of the content of its
    P a g e 27 | 56
    programs to local needs, it based its decision on that of the ACBSP which is not even
    recognized by the US Department of Education as one of its accrediting agencies.
    What's interesting is that elsewhere in the report they appear to accept wholeheartedly that AACSB is the gold standard for business education despite the fact that AACSB is also recognized only by CHEA and not USDOE.
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  9. #8
    Neuhaus is offline Registered User
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    Incidentally, this seems to be one of those situations where had the individuals possessed doctorates from NA schools this likely wouldn't have been as much of an issue.

    I'm not saying that NA degrees are "as good" as RA degrees. But when you're dealing with some of these more speculative schools, like SMC, one really might consider comparing the overall cost and potential risk to NA options. When you start getting into cost you can likely find a few RA options that start seeming viable as well.

    And that's before you even get into the whole conflict of interest problem.
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  10. #9
    Johann is offline Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by Intlprof View Post
    Not saying it is a fake school, but...While the SMC doctorate appeared to have some utility, that value seems to be evaporating.

    Besides Ghana, SMC is not being accepted by MOHESR in UAE either. ACBSP is tightening standards, it will be interesting to see how the requirement to have governmental recognition plays out for SMC.

    As mentioned, paying an additional fee and then a university in Nicaragua certifies SMC's DBA as equivalent to a PhD, hmmmm...
    (1) I thought (for a while at least) the utility of a SMC degree might be increasing.

    (a) It was once on the Texas List of unacceptable schools, but has since been removed.
    (b) The doctoral programs are now ACBSP-approved.
    (c) Some time ago, I read an account of a SMC doctorate not passing the WES sniff test, but that was a degree awarded prior to ACBSP approval of present SMC doctoral programs.

    (2) Thanks for the update on ACBSP requirements. Now, after accrediting degree programs as far afield as Kazakhstan and Mongolia, they're revising their non-US accreditation standards? Better late than never, I suppose. The requirement for a school outside USA has been a rather loose "sufficient degree-granting authority in its own country." If they're bringing "governmental recognition" into the mix, then they need to specify - must it be federal or... what? SMC and quite a few other Swiss non-mainstream schools - ranging in quality all the way from mill/near mill to excellent - are licensed by Cantonal authorities; a local government, not Swiss federation. Then again, that licensing is not recognition of the school's degrees, so....

    Some Cantonally-licensed schools don't worry about it - such as the triple-crowned IMD (AACSB EQUIS AMBA). And yes, it will be interesting. I'm thinking ACBSP is not going to back itself into a corner where it has to rescind previous accreditations. Even if SMC and others don't meet the new specs, I can see the possibility of a grandfathering process.

    (3) As far as the Ph.D. deal with the University in Nicaragua, I don't like it either.

    "So you earned a distance doctorate, from a non-mainstream school in Switzerland - and two months later, you were awarded a Ph.D. from a University you never studied at ...in Nicaragua?
    Next, please!"


    J.
    Last edited by Johann; 08-05-2016 at 11:30 AM.

  11. #10
    novadar is offline Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by Johann View Post
    (3) As far as the Ph.D. deal with the University in Nicaragua, I don't like it either.

    "So you earned a distance doctorate, from a non-mainstream school in Switzerland - and two months later, you were awarded a Ph.D. from a University you never studied at ...in Nicaragua?
    Next, please!"


    J.
    We detailed this situation over two years ago when discussing Universidad Central de Nicaragua (Central University of Nicaragua) the 'other' university at question here at great length -- it was a llllllllooooonnnnnnggggg thread.

    Universidad central de nicaragua (again)

    The DBA/DM - PhD between SMC and UCN is a Dual Degree program. This is a well-established practice where many institutions award degrees based on a particular course of study and the final work product meeting the requirements of each institution. The other thread has links where this involved institutions like Brown University, University of Turin (Italy), Cornell , University of Arizona.. there are many, many more

    Even if this was not a Dual Degree program there is nothing stopping UCN from engaging in a validation relationship with SMC. We have discussed the merits, dis-merits, and non-merits of validation degrees here as well (at great length). The end point is that an institution with full and appropriate accreditation and degree granting authority issues a degree based on its assessment that a prescribed degree program has been completed.

    None of these details obviate the legality of SMC's operations in Switzerland, as a Canton-approved institution, or its agreements and relationships with other international universities.

    There is nothing Fake here, move along folks.
    Last edited by novadar; 08-05-2016 at 02:22 PM.
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  12. #11
    Johann is offline Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by novadar View Post
    There is nothing Fake here, move along folks.
    No, there isn't. But there are things I definitely find objectionable. UCN itself is not one of them. Its legitimacy has been established beyond doubt.

    What I don't like is:

    (1) UCN's many cross-validation programs with schools that may be uh - less wonderful than UCN itself - sometimes by a wide margin. You know which schools I'm talking about. It's legal - but is it a good idea? I can't help thinking of the U. of Wales debacle.

    (2) The "dual degree" concept in this particular case. It's only a "dual degree" by virtue of payment. You finish your SMC doctorate and get your SMC award. Want a two-fer? A PhD too? Bang. It's issued for $3,000. That's it. No collaboration except of the printing-press variety. How "dual" is that? I would not blame any HR manager who reacted exactly as my hypothetical "Mr. Next Please."

    (3) Continual reliance on legality in absence of degree recognition. You talk of "the legality of SMC's operations ." Legality is one thing. Degree recognition is another. Certain schools may legally award degrees in Switzerland, Panama, France or wherever. Doesn't mean the awards are necessarily recognized - there or anywhere else.

    No, there is nothing stopping UCN or SMC from any of this. And nothing stopping me - or others - from not liking it, either. To me, these practices are rather like smoking. Just because they are legal doesn't make them good, healthy or advisable. I particularly object to a school with established legitimacy, like UCN, picking its precarious way down this muddy slope. I wouldn't want its good reputation to suffer. The lesser schools involved? They can cross-validate each other into oblivion, for all I care. And they just might.


    J.
    Last edited by Johann; 08-05-2016 at 04:15 PM.

  13. #12
    SteveFoerster is offline Resident Gadfly
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    Quote Originally Posted by Johann View Post
    No, there is nothing stopping UCN or SMC from any of this. And nothing stopping me - or others - from not liking it, either. To me, these practices are rather like smoking. Just because they are legal doesn't make them good, healthy or advisable. I particularly object to a school with established legitimacy, like UCN, picking its precarious way down this muddy slope. I wouldn't want its good reputation to suffer. The lesser schools involved? They can cross-validate each other into oblivion, for all I care. And they just might.
    That's fair.
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  14. #13
    Neuhaus is offline Registered User
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    One of the problems with validation schemes is that they are not common in the US. I'm not aware of any, to be honest. It's a process unknown to most Americans. So can we be surprised if a hiring manager doesn't "get it?" It's complicated and clunky and there are a lot more applicants with a more straightforward educational background standing in line behind the person with a convoluted story of Switzerland and Nicaragua.

    Foreign credentials are generally well accepted. People only raise an eyebrow when a person from America earns a credential from a foreign school they clearly didn't physically attend. It's a bias that many people share. I admit that I've caught myself in the act. I once snickered at a pediatrician (for my kid) who was a pasty white guy from Ohio with a medical degree form Algeria. He was/is a perfectly capable doctor who completed a residency at a top hospital. But it's a bias. We assume people went overseas because they couldn't hack it here or because it is easier to lie about a degree from somewhere else.

    There will always be SMC graduates who use their degrees well. But there will also be places and times when they are called into question. I also don't like the idea of a dual doctorate with no actual collaboration between institutions.
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  15. #14
    novadar is offline Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by Johann View Post
    (2) The "dual degree" concept in this particular case. It's only a "dual degree" by virtue of payment. You finish your SMC doctorate and get your SMC award. Want a two-fer? A PhD too? Bang. It's issued for $3,000. That's it. No collaboration except of the printing-press variety. How "dual" is that? I would not blame any HR manager who reacted exactly as my hypothetical "Mr. Next Please."

    J.
    I am not privy to the ins and outs of the process but I feel confident it's not just a rubber stamp and here's the other degree. In the old thread you posted a link to a bit more details on this very issue. and JGD (I think, the guy from Jersey or some kinda-UK-like place) noted that the link you offered provided details that the grant of the PhD was not necessarily automatic:

    Here is what is listed in the GREAT annals of DI:

    "A successful graduate of SMCU will consequently apply for validation with UCN. SMCU will forward all required documentation to UCN. UCN agrees to accept SMC doctorate curricula as equal to the respective degree programs of UCN. UCN agrees to validate academic credits earned at SMCU and shall accept any prior research conducted at SMCU. Final acceptance of course results and dissertation rests with UCN. UCN retain the right to request course details and examination results from SMCU for documentation and surveillance reasons. UCN retains the right to review dissertation, request changes and also to reject dissertation if deemed necessary." [Relevant parts bolded for emphasis by me]




    I am not on the faculty or staff of UCN or SMC so I won't pass judgment to say this is a sham without any evidence to say that it is. Do you have any such evidence Johann or Intlprof?
    Last edited by novadar; 08-05-2016 at 05:45 PM.
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  17. #15
    Johann is offline Registered User
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    No - I can't prove it's a sham. I could snarkily say something like "that's the mark of a successful sham - not being able to prove it," but maybe that doesn't really apply. Basically UCN says they go through a process - they "retain the right" to check this and that, etc. Do they really check it? Maybe. As I see it, one committee, one dissertation, one doctorate. Want another? Go through the hoops twice. We have holders of two doctorates here. Ask them.

    In this case, I guess my objection is based on what it looks like - to me. Maybe what it is - is something far better. But all I have to go by is the optics - which I still can't get past. And as for the validations for some of the other schools --as I said, risky schools = risky process.

    I know for sure that I personally would not send $3,000 (or any amount) for any degree to a school if I had never studied there. Wouldn't feel right, no matter how many degrees I'd earned elsewhere. If you want to - go ahead. I won't say anything further, not that it would matter if I did.

    J.
    Last edited by Johann; 08-05-2016 at 06:56 PM.

  18. #16
    Intlprof is offline Registered User
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    Just a comment. AACSB was mentioned in the article on the Ghana educational sector and then in this thread re CHEA recognition, yes they are. AACSB is currently under CHEA deferment. The problem is not having clear standards for outcome reporting.

    RE: SMC Don't think it's fake, just of questionable utility.

    Cantonal approval...one really needs to read the wording of their degree granting authority for school X and how the degree granting authority is stated. Some state the organization is permitted to offer degrees in their own name but with the caveat these degrees are not recognized by the Swiss govt.

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