ABMS (The Open University of Switzerland)

Discussion in 'General Distance Learning Discussions' started by Pugbelly2, Jun 28, 2015.

  1. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    Wait a minute - we've been here before. Here's a five-page thread about ALL the same players, from University of Dąbrowa Górnicza to ABMS/OUS to Taras Shevchenko U. https://www.degreeinfo.com/index.php?threads/taras-shevchenko-national-open-university-kyiv-ukraine.50727/ Complete with Stanislav's apt comments.

    Wonders! Looks like my memory is still intact. How'd that happen? University of Dąbrowa Górnicza has about SIXTY dual-degree programs with other universities. Mintaru commented above that ABMS/OUS seemed to be "collecting" dual programs and asked for what reason. Same reason as University of Dąbrowa Górnicza, I'd venture: M-O-N-E-Y, plain and simple. "You validate me, I'll validate you and we'll all rake in the coin." If it's a race to collect dual programs, my money's on University of Dąbrowa Górnicza to take gold. ABMS/OUS for silver! Universidad Central de Nicaragua might have a shot at bronze - it's climbing fast in the Dual Validation rankings! IIRC, UCEN has a professor from a private university (in Austria, maybe?) on board - a name I can't recall instantly, but I do remember he has quite a track record in creating these partnerships. Yes - I think that's win, place and show - all figured out.

    Remember what happened to University of Wales, back around 2011, after it had validated 200+ overseas programs, with little or no oversight. 800 years of history notwithstanding, it IMPLODED. A while back, Mintaru told us about the German word "Bulimielernen." Perhaps there should be a new German/English term for these dual/triple programs - "BOGOstudium."

    Last edited: Jan 17, 2018
  2. Stanislav

    Stanislav Well-Known Member

    Alas, I didn't attend Shevchenko U. I went to its hometown rival - Igor Sikorsky Kyiv Polytechnic Institute. Confusion is because my school calls itself "National Technical University of Ukraine", following the annoying trend among every major school in the country to add "National" to its name. Still, I'm not unfamiliar with Taras Shevchenko University. If you google my last name, you're likely to find an accomplished academic with his degrees up to PhD and DSc from there, who was also a former full professor in their Math department (maybe still affiliated in courtesy capacity - he teaches elsewhere now). That's my uncle; I wish I had a publication record that's anything like his. The two schools are bitter rivals; Shevchenko U. is obviously stronger in liberal arts and sciences, and Kyiv Poly in engineering.
    It seems pretty clear to me that while KNOU has some affiliation with KNU, it doesn't share the main school's degree granting powers. There are plenty of private schools in Ukraine with government accreditation, so it's not impressive by itself. However, KNOU doesn't even have that.
  3. mintaru

    mintaru Active Member

    It's not ALL the same players, there are a few more now, like Taurida National V.I.Vernadsky University, but the main reason for my last post was the name change.
    I think you're right, but I don't know how true that is for Taurida National V.I.Vernadsky University. There seems to be a very special issue with that school.
    "BOGOstudium"? - Haha, I really like that.
  4. mintaru

    mintaru Active Member

    Stanislav, do you know anything about Taurida National V.I.Vernadsky University? Wikipedia says there are two schools with that name, one in Kyiv and one in Simferopol. Why is that the case and what is the connection? I assume this has something to do with Russias annexation of Crimea, right?
  5. Stanislav

    Stanislav Well-Known Member

    Precisely. Tuurida National Vernadsky University is a premier educational institution in Crimea, which had full accreditation in Ukraine. After 2014, it was taken over by Russia, and is now a subsidiary of "Crimean National Vernadsky University", a conglomerate of schools formed according to current vogue in Russia. It was given the Russian accreditation, which is of course illegal because Crimea is not really part of Russia, and everything Russia does there is contrary to international law. Kyiv school is a recreation of the original Ukrainian school "in exile", and retains the original legal identity. Same thing happened to Donetsk U. and I assume Luhansk one and other schools in the "People's Republics", except any school that remained on the ground would only have "recognition" from the terrorist puppet "states" that claim to run things there. Website for the Taurida U. says it had special exemption to admissions regulations, which allowed it to admit displaced students from the occupied territories year-round; has 3000 students now.

    Clearly, Russian entity retained most of the resources of Taurida National U. However, I would not deal with any "official" institutions in the illegally occupied peninsula. Certainly not with the stolen university. Kyiv exiled entity, whatever it's current circumstances, is the real school.
  6. mintaru

    mintaru Active Member

    I think I know now why ABMS changed its name. The Swiss accreditation system has changed in 2015, and one of the new rules makes the word "university" a so-called "reserved designation". This is from the website of the Swiss accreditation council: (http://akkreditierungsrat.ch/en/accreditation-switzerland/)
    I think this law has to be enforced by cantonal authorities, and it seems it took the canton of Zug, where ABMS/OUS is located, three years(!) to do that.

    There is also another notable change. In the old system, there was only one recognized accreditation agency: OAS. Now there are four, AAS, the successor agency of OAS (http://aaq.ch/en/) and three other agencies: AHPGS Agentur im Bereich Gesundheit und Soziales, evalag Evaluationsagentur Baden-Württemberg, and FIBAA Foundation for International Business Administration Accreditation.
  7. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    Thanks, Mintaru. The new (2015) law seems very clear and specific. So -- do you have any idea what's happening over at SMC University, also in the Canton of Zug? They're still "SMC University," although I have seen no evidence of accreditation by any of the four agencies you mentioned. Also, there have been some issues with the National Accreditation Board of Ghana, which has directed SMC University not to admit new Ghanaian students until they (SMC) are in compliance. The NAB (Ghana) has extended the registration of SMC University for three years for present students to finish their studies.

  8. mintaru

    mintaru Active Member

    No, I do not know what's happening at SMC University. However, I noticed that SMC University now often calls itself SMC Business School. Maybe that is their new name. The term business school isn't a reserved designation.
  9. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    Haven't seen that, myself. The web-page still says "SMC University" all over. www.smcuniversity.com Originally, SMC stood for "Swiss Management College" and that's what the school called itself. Changed to SMC University not many years back - maybe about the time their programs became ACBSP-accredited, IIRC - or maybe later than that. Anyhow, it definitely looks like a reserved designation, to me.

    I have noticed dropping of "University" by some other private Swiss schools, e.g. St. Clements University, in the Canton of Vaud. That school is now SCPU Business School, although their Liberian operation is still referred to as St. Clements University College and it's still St. Clements University, in both Somalia and Turks & Caicos.

    Although I haven't seen a change (yet) for SMC, I'll accept that you have, so it's likely on its way...
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2018
  10. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    ...and they seem to be known now as Swiss Management Center AG on the ACBSP site: https://www.acbsp.org/members/default.asp?id=18776511 So, it looks like the change Mintaru talked about is underway.

    Rule #1 - Mintaru is right.
    Rule #2 - If in doubt, refer to rule #1. :)
  11. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

  12. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly Staff Member

    They went by "Swiss Management Center" before they went by "SMC University". And "AG" is the equivalent to "Inc.", so perhaps the name of their corporation simply never changed.
  13. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    Right on both counts, Steve. Infallible as always, especially when speaking ex cathedra. ;)
  14. mintaru

    mintaru Active Member

    Well, I would argue "AG" (short for "Aktiengesellschaft") and "Inc." are very similar but not 100 percent equivalent, but that's not the point here. The point is I think you are right and the name of their corporation never changed.
    However, a school and the company (or other organization) that runs that school is not the same entity.
    That webpage says both, "SMC University" and "SMC Business School", or do you not see that? And I was only guessing when I said: "Maybe that is their new name".
  15. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    Yes - I've known that since around 1958 - Aktiengesellschaft (literally shares-business) translates as joint-stock company. I chose not to say that, because Steve's observation was close enough, for the purpose here. I was mainly concentrating on the name, not the business designation. But I would not want you to think I didn't know it. Of course, that's because ... I know everything. :)
    Oh yes. I see it. But it doesn't say them the same way. The page displays "SMC University" with a crest of sorts. Then it goes on to say "SMC is an accredited online business school." That's a description, not a name.

    I see everything... :)

    Last edited: Jan 26, 2018
  16. mintaru

    mintaru Active Member

    Sorry to say that, but I think you only see what SMC wants you to see. Let me explain...

    You may know what a VPN is. A VPN hides your real IP and a web server thinks you come from a different location, including a different country. I sometimes use a plugin called hola!VPN, available here https://hola.org/. (By the way, I do not use it here. I'm one of the two people who actually read the TOS.)

    This is what I see if I use hola!VPN with an American IP and go to smcuniversity.com:

    Snapshot 2018-01-27 01-58-30.png

    I think that's also what you see, right? And now comes the interesting part. This is what I see if I do not use hola!VPN and SMC's web server sees my real (German) IP:

    Snapshot 2018-01-27 01-24-51.png

    Look at the upper left corner. That's an interesting difference, isn't it?
  17. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    Thanks, Mintaru. Obviously, I don't "see everything." I think we all realize I was joking about that. You have shone a light in a very dark corner.

    BTW - On thinking about it, I first encountered the word "Aktiengesellschaft" at a much younger age than 15. Long before high-school German, when I was about seven (1950) my (English) mother, who was an office worker, was telling me about her previous jobs. She said the best place she had ever worked, with the nicest people, was "the I.G." That, she said, in her best attempt at a German accent, was the London office of "I.G. Farbenindustrie Aktiengesellschaft." She told me what each word meant and that "Aktiengesellschaft" basically meant "company" - an adequate explanation for a seven-year-old. Mum also mentioned that the job came to an end in 1939, when the office closed and all the German managers had to return home.

    Of course, I didn't learn about Zyklon B or I.G. Farben's role in it until many years later. Some things are not for seven-year-olds.

  18. mintaru

    mintaru Active Member

    Of course, you were joking, and I wasn't serious when I said that you don't see everything. But maybe I should more often use emoticons to make such things clearer.
  19. FTFaculty

    FTFaculty Well-Known Member

    Sounds like the difference between an LLC and a coporation. Right?
  20. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    Not quite. In U.S. terms, more like the difference between a private or closely-held C-general corporation and a widely-held corporation - likely one that has gone public, with shares for sale. The LLC is a hybrid between partnership and corporation, with the limited-liability aspects of the latter. Different, yes, but not really the difference we're discussing. Aktiengesellschaft means a corporation where the shares are jointly held by the owners i.e. joint-stock company.

    Wow! Things were so much easier when I was seven! :)
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2018

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