ABMS (The Open University of Switzerland)

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

  1. Kizmet

    Kizmet Moderator Staff Member

    Well, OK but that's splitting a pretty fine hair. In essence they say "We're not going to say your school is a diploma mill but we are going to say that your degree in not worth the paper its printed on." A distinction without a difference.
  2. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    Well, that's how they split them in Germany. - mit Präzision! :) Same deal with foreign MBAs. AACSB or the Autobahn.
  3. Gerd

    Gerd New Member

    Isn´t it the same in the rest of the world? I mean in this forum I see people from all over the world and they all want accredited and state-recognized diplomas?!
  4. Kizmet

    Kizmet Moderator Staff Member

    Well, it's pretty much the case in my neighborhood but I'm not much of a world traveler so I'm going to defer on that question.
  5. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    I think it's OK. It's like a waiter who's careful of your dignity when he has to tell you your credit card has been declined. :)
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2019
  6. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    I guess I wouldn't like the policy much, if I had a degree from a Swiss school with Cantonal licensing/approval. Then again, if it was from OUS, I wouldn't bother squawking.
  7. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    Pretty much. I'm not sure why Kizmet considers it hair-splitting, for Germany to do things that way. I believe these non-mainstream Swiss Cantonal degrees also present evaluation problems in both US and Canada because they're not State-recognized in their own country. It's a conundrum really. Some of the better Cantonal schools have ACBSP programmatic accreditation. ACBSP requires US schools to be RA for program accreditation. Abroad, it will accredit suitable programs at schools which have legal degree-granting authority in their own country - and the Cantonal schools all have that. One of those schools, the prestigious and very costly IMD, has "triple crown" accreditation - Equis, AMBA and AACSB! A degree from there carries real weight in the business world (and costs around $150K last I heard) - but it's still not a mainstream Swiss State-recognized degree. Doesn't seem to bother the high-earning grads (or their employers) one bit.

    Other countries - other discriminations. For example, UK-NARIC, the official UK credential evaluator, will not evaluate any American NA degrees. Its refusal really doesn't bother anyone much, though. Universities don't have to abide by this decision - they can (and do) admit people with NA degrees if they feel the applicant has a good chance of success. And employers hire who they see as the best candidate - NA degrees notwithstanding.

    Here in Canada, I think there are some holes in the fabric that should be patched. We have a Canadian poster who maintains that in Canada it is not an offence to get a Ph.D. from a mill and print Ph.D. on your business card. You can then proceed to some unregulated area of counselling or health-related treatment (he maintains there are lots of such fields) and "serve" the gullible and the despairing, as long as whatever you do isn't infringing on medicine or anything else you would need a license for. There are even a few bogus "boards" that will board-certify you for some of the crazy stuff. Your bad Ph.D. will help you poach clients from the other fraudsters who neglected to purchase a doctorate.

    That's gotta go.
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2019
  8. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    Well, at least I got that part somewhat right. IMD , as I said, does not have mainstream Swiss recognition as a University. But it's not your average Cantonally-registered distance school, either. I think this fine school is in its own category - a category of one.
    The IMD story is on its webpage and in the Wiki.


    I don't know of any Cantonal school that can hold a candle to IMD. Even so, it appears several Cantonals must be good enough for ACBSP to have accredited their programs. And yes - some of the others (non ACBSP) are real mills, no doubt whatsoever.
  9. Mireille Barsoum

    Mireille Barsoum New Member

    Any feedback about Monarch School of Business please?
  10. Stewart81

    Stewart81 New Member

    Intriguing the comment on NARIC and it matches my experience , totally agree they are inflexible beyond belief. Strangely you can be accepted for teacher training by the Department for Education with some foreign degrees NARIC won't accept.

    As for the individual universities, that is an even more uneven situation. The higher ranked the University the more inclined they often are to take a candidate individually and by pass the system. Others go rigidly by NARIC.
  11. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

  12. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    I note that Monarch now says it is "triple-accredited" by ISO. It may meet three sets of ISO standards, but that is NOT academic accreditation as we use the term. Not even close. This is a Cantonally-authorized school with no institutional accreditation or equivalent - and no programmatic accreditation either. It is a member of some associations that do program accreditation, but its programs are not accredited by any. It can legally award degrees that carry no Swiss Federation recognition. Degree mills sometimes list ISO "accreditation" when they have nothing else to show. I'll give Monarch the benefit of the doubt and not call them a mill, even though they have used a millish device. It's a device like the one used by American degree mills - "BBB Accreditation." Neither the Better Business Bureau nor ISO appears on CHEA / USDoE Accreditor lists.
  13. mintaru

    mintaru Member

    But there is no distinction. The word diploma mill (German: Titelmühle) is a colloquial term. German authorities never call a school a diploma mill. They always stick to legal terminology, and the legal term is "nicht anerkannte Hochschule" (not recognized university). Therefore, there is no legal difference between a genuine diploma mill and a school without accreditation.
  14. mintaru

    mintaru Member

    "AACSB or the Autobahn." does only apply to US MBAs and not to degrees from other countries like Canada, for instance.

    ZAB, the German NARIC, also does not evaluate any American NA degree. But there is an important difference. A ZAB decision is legally binding for all German universities. I guess that is an example of Germans cutting "mit Präzision". If something isn't recognized then it is really not recognized, without exception.
  15. mintaru

    mintaru Member

    I think you are right, people from all over the world want accredited and state-recognized diplomas, but the definition of "accredited and state-recognized" may differ from country to country.
  16. mintaru

    mintaru Member

    Of course, it doesn't make any sense for ISO to be on CHEA / USDoE Accreditor lists. ISO stands for "International Organization for Standardization". This organization is an international standard-setting body, not an accreditation agency. And these three ISO standards have nothing to do with educational accreditation:

    1) ISO 9001 is a standard for quality management systems.

    2) ISO 14001 is a standard for environmental management systems

    3) OHSAS 18001 is the ISO version of the now-defunct British standard BS OHSAS 18001. OHASA stands for Occupational Health and Safety Assessment Series

    I think the fact that Monarch calls itself "triple-accredited" because of that proves it is a mill.
  17. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    Agreed 100%. I hope I didn't give the impression it did. My point was ISO has no more place on those lists than the "BBB accreditation" of American degree mills.

    Can't argue. I probably should not have given them the benefit of the doubt. Getting soft in my old age.

    When this subject came up before in regard to another school, I think it may have been Dr. John Bear who quipped "What are the ISO standards for a degree mill, anyway?" :)
  18. Stephen Michael

    Stephen Michael New Member

    If done correctly a Triple Program can be quite valuable --> https://www.triumemba.org/
    Same with a Dual Degree ---> http://www.emba-global.com/

    So just because one degree becomes 2 or 3 does not mean a program is suspicious.
    However, if combining poor quality programs is somehow going to create a better program, no it will not, it just means you get 2 lousy degrees for the price of 1.
  19. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    Most of the dual / triple degrees I've seen are from institutions that are at least a bit iffy themselves and award degrees of non-mainstream standing (or legal but with no standing at all).
    There's quite a club of them - some with close to a hundred validation schemes. It's all "you validate some of our degrees and we'll validate some of yours and we'll all make a ton of money."

    Those are the multiple awards I most often see. And I still don't trust them. And sometimes a school of low repute will manage to form an alliance with a respectable-but financially-strapped school in another country and get the respectable school to put its name on the degrees taught/sold by the lowball school. There was one such scheme fairly recently set up by a Swiss Cantonal School and a foreign university of good repute. The good school had a hell of a time extricating itself and wished it had never taken part. This is the kind of thing I'm still suspicious of. Two good schools? No problem.
  20. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    How soon I forget.

    (1) I said I was suspicious.
    (2) Next thing I knew, the dual/triple degree programs I was suspicious of came to a bad end within months. All in this thread!

    So you don't need to lecture me about some multiple-school degree programs being OK. I know the difference between good and bad schools. If one of them is substandard, the whole program is worthless. Multiple institutions are a good idea if all the schools are known good - as in your example - and an international focus is required.

    But There are enough disastrous dual/triple programs on record to write a book. Biggest collapse I can remember was caused by the 200+ overseas validations of University of Wales consortium, with pretty well zero academic oversight. The whole University of Wales consortium imploded in the aftermath.

    There are some universities in Latin America with limited degree-granting capability in their own country that are teaching distance degrees which they have no authority to grant at all - in fields beyond their scope of degree granting permission - in English. Several of them have from 60 to 100 dual/triple award schemes with schools in other countries that most often do not have mainstream degree granting authority themselves.

    The above are just a couple of examples of looming or actual disasters. And when both or all the schools are substandard and validating each other -well, that's the worst - and the "you validate me and I'll validate you - and we'll make a ton of money" craze is happening in just about as many countries as host bad schools.

    Maybe I will write that book. Or not. But no more lectures, please.
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2020

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