AIU... fake or not?

Discussion in 'Accreditation Discussions (RA, DETC, state approva' started by Daniel66, Aug 17, 2009.

  1. Chip

    Chip Administrator

  2. funzway

    funzway New Member

    Anyway, I am a qualified and registered engineer in South East Asia ( UK graduate in BSc. Engineering and MSc. Engineering from prestigious top 20 university in the world) completed my Doctorate degree recently at Atlantic International University. Took me 21/2 years to complete my PhD with minimum cost. The same accredited program at Harvard would cost me USD 200,000.00 to USD 280,000.00 (tuition fee plus living expenses for a family of 4) for 3-4 years. For a pocket which is not deep like my pocket, AIU is certainly a good run for my money. I dont care about whether the PhD that I have earned is accredited or not. What matters most, I have had an opportunity to complete my PhD thru distance learning at a minimum cost without leaving my country.
    There are so many accredited engineering degree programs in Japan, Germany, Taiwan and many more but the qualifications are not registrable with professional institutions in my country. Does it make any difference? Certainly no difference unless the qualifications come from accredited universities in the UK, USA, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore and Malaysia with regards to registration in my country.
  3. Chip

    Chip Administrator

    So am I understanding you correctly that accredited engineering degree programs in Japan, Germany, Taiwan are not registrable with professional institutions in Singapore, but a degree from an unaccredited and unwonderful school in Hawaii *is* registerable in Singapore?!

    If that's the case then something is REALLY messed up in Singapore or wherever you are. That or (more likely) the authorities recognizing the AIU degree in your country have no idea the school is unaccredited and unwonderful, and are recognizing the degree because the don't know any better.
  4. BillDayson

    BillDayson New Member

    It certainly looks fake.

    Can you provide us with any credible evidence of that?

    A Hawaii state licence simply means that this business's owners are not violating Hawaii state education law by running their online business. Their ability to stay out of an Oahu jail doesn't tell us anything about their enterprise's academic credibility, if any. The state of Hawaii isn't endorsing it.

    Has AIU designed its own curricula in the many often-technical subjects that it purports to teach, or does it just use other universities' posted curricula? How much of the work in those curricula must students actually complete after they have been awarded all their AIU life-experience credits? Does AIU have any competent faculty on staff who are capable of teaching, assessing work and mentoring research in the more than 100 different subjects in which they award advanced degrees?

    Real universities actually hold classes, they instruct their students, conduct research and make scholarly contributions. Real universities participate in the intellectual lives of their disciplines. Real universities collaborate on joint projects, they conduct student and professorial exchanges, and they are recognized by government agencies and by the wider academic and professional communities.

    There are already lots of distance learning programs out there. What makes AIU's programs different from all of the others, "non-traditional" and "unique"?

    In technical subjects like engineering and the biomedical sciences, doctorates are research degrees. Doctoral level hiring pays close attention to where candidates did their work, who they worked with, and what they worked on. Those are the kind of things that prospective doctoral students look at when they are choosing a program.

    So does AIU host active research programs in any subject? It appears to award doctoral degrees in more than 100 different majors. Does it have any accomplishments or distinction in any of them?

    In most places in the world, it's not illegal to lie about having a PhD. It might get a person fired their job, but a degree-mill degree would present the same danger. So why not lie for free about possessing an advanced formal education, instead of making the exact same lie after sending some stranger thousands of dollars? The stranger's going to make the lie ok or something? It sounds like a no-brainer to me. But I guess that if somebody is determined to be totally stupid, they shouldn't be satisfied with half-measures.
  5. BillDayson

    BillDayson New Member

    Here's the acceptable universities for Singapore engineering registration.

    Here's their faq

    At least some Japanese and German universities are included. Strangely, I don't see Taiwan. (My impression is that Taiwan has some good engineering schools.) In addition, engineering programs located in any country that are accredited by the American ABET or with similar French engineering recognition are acceptable. Graduates of engineering programs not on the Singapore-approved list may apply and will be considered on a case-by-case basis and may be required to pass examinations.

    Study must be in a four-year full-time program. There's also a rule that at least 50% of the program has to have been taken on-campus at the university's home campus. (They specifically say that both DL and remotely validated arrangements are not acceptable.)

    So no, I don't think that there's much chance that an AIU degree would qualify anyone for recognition as a professional engineer in Singapore.
  6. CalDog

    CalDog New Member

    I seriously doubt that an AIU engineering degree is going to be recognized anywhere in the world (even in Hawaii) as valid for purposes of engineering licensure. But if the Original Poster has legitimate BSc and MSc degrees, then he presumably doesn't need an AIU PhD for that purpose. The AIU PhD is more likely used as a resume booster, or to claim the title of "Doctor".
    That's apparent. Unfortunately, other people who know about your PhD may care.

    For example, suppose you want to advertise your AIU degree to Singaporeans. The Singapore Public Service (which is the single largest employer in the country) does care about the accreditation of US degrees, and will only accept regionally accredited or DETC degrees as valid. An AIU PhD does not meet that standard, and is therefore an unacceptable qualification as far as the Singapore public sector is concerned. The Singapore private sector is not obliged to follow the same rules, but in practice usually does.

    So it would not be surprising at all if your AIU degree was regarded as illegitimate in Singapore; it clearly fails to meet Singapore government standards. Not sure about the rules in Malaysia.
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 16, 2009
  7. Kizmet

    Kizmet Moderator Staff Member

    We may just have to resign ourselves to the idea that every few months someone is going to register specifically for the purpose of defending this entity. With any luck they'll all come to this thread and then we can all have some fun watching this person(s) say the same old stuff over and over.
  8. CalDog

    CalDog New Member

    Technically, AIU degrees are only legal and in compliance with some US laws. In the US (unlike most other countries) there is no national law or policy regarding degree use; the laws vary from state to state. Some US states (e.g. North Dakota or Oregon) restrict or forbid the use of unaccredited degrees. So the legality of an AIU degree in the US varies; you cannot assume that it has unrestricted use nationwide.

    Foreign students often don't realize the extent to which the US is governed by state law, rather than national law. They simply assume that a degree that is legally offered in one US state will be equally legal in others. This is not how it works.

    It's true that AIU appears to be operating legally and in compliance with Hawaii law. However, did AIU explain to you that use of their degrees could be considered a criminal offense in some parts of the US ?
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 17, 2009
  9. lawrenceq

    lawrenceq Member

    I was thinking this was the other AIU. I looked around AIU's site and they go all out.
  10. Bill Huffman

    Bill Huffman Well-Known Member

    In that case, my personal opinion is that your claim to a PhD does not make you a doctor. Instead it makes you an academic fraud. Congratulations on "earning" such a title!
  11. RFValve

    RFValve Well-Known Member

    Minimum cost? I got my Doctorate of Elvis for $5.00 from Graceland University in Ebay, for what is worth, the same value as a PhD from AIU. Do you want a legal cheap Doctorate? Just buy the $20 Doctorate in Metaphysics from Universal Life Church that is another legal unaccredited school. Bottom line, even $50 for an PhD AUI degree is too much just to call yourself a Doctor so there is nothing "minimum" about your wise decision.
  12. fakedegreehunter

    fakedegreehunter New Member

    According to UNESCO, if the institution is not accredited by government, and cannot link up with qualifications that are offered by institutions that are linked to government accredited institutions, then it is a degree mill.
  13. RFValve

    RFValve Well-Known Member

    This is a very lose definition. In the USA, universities are not accredited by the government but by independent agencies that are recognized by the department of education but there are schools recognized by states (State approved) or schools that are not required to apply for recognition as religious exempted schools, are these degree mills as well?. In Spain for example, government allows to operate private institutions that grant masters degrees that are not officially recognized by the government as long as these credentials are not linked to regulated professions, this means that I can legally grants masters degrees in game programming, spiritual counseling, etc as long as the target profession is not regulated, are these degree mills? They are not officially recognized but operating under the Spanish regulation. Another example is Mexico, schools like Azteca offer degrees online, the school itself is recognized by the Mexican department of education but the government accredits degrees and not institutions, if Azteca offers a degree that is not in the list of accredited degrees but the institution itself is recognized by the government, are these degree mills? the same is in Costa Rica where you have schools like Empresarial that grant degrees that were not officially approved but the school is officially approved by the Costa Rican Government.

    The issue is not as simple as being recognized or not by the government.
  14. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly Staff Member

    I can't find where UNESCO says that. Feel free to supply a link.

    I can find this joint document from them and CHEA that describes things a lot more like how most of us do around here:

    They go on to list a number of red flags that mean one is likely dealing with a degree mill, and that list also sounds would also be familiar to most of us around here.
  15. Ted Heiks

    Ted Heiks Moderator and Distinguished Senior Member Staff Member

    Who necromanced this old thread? And why?

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