Axact universities

Discussion in 'Accreditation Discussions (RA, DETC, state approva' started by Kizmet, Aug 29, 2015.

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  1. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    Not this time, it seems. Different degree of bogus-ness (bogosity?) :smile: The degree was an M.A. in Islamic studies - a degree from a madrassa, declared fake, apparently. No madrassas (religious schools) on the Axact list, at least as far as I know. It seems all madrassas are not created equal...

    Madrassa originates as a Persian word and I'm told the plural is madaris, although the form "madrassas" is common in English.

    "The Election Commission of Pakistan and the in-charge of Madrassa Jamia Qasmia Anwarul Aloom, Dera Ismail Khan, were made party to the case as the degree was issued by the madrassa."

    J.

    PS - PBS comment on (some) Pakistani madrassas here - not all, of course:

    "A madrassa is an Islamic religious school. Many of the Taliban were educated in Saudi-financed madrassas in Pakistan that teach Wahhabism, a particularly austere and rigid form of Islam which is rooted in Saudi Arabia."
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 5, 2015
  2. Kizmet

    Kizmet Moderator Staff Member

    OK, so I learned something unusual today. Thanks, Johann.
     
  3. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    You're welcome - or Al’afw as (Google informs me) is the Arabic way to say it. :smile:

    J
     
  4. mbwa shenzi

    mbwa shenzi Active Member

    That may be so, but I think it's important to mention that religious education in Pakistan is a parallel track in education in the country, stretching from primary to higher education. Degrees awarded by madrasas are considered equivalent (on the labour market, not academically) to degrees awarded by public and private universities in regular higher education. Substandard and questionable institutions exist in both systems, but there are of course also some really good madrasas in Pakistan, as well as good universities, both public and private.

    Meanwhile, what's left of Axact seems to be reorganizing things: the Axact school formerly known as Regent International University is now Innova University -innovauniversity dot com -, name changed in September and new websites with a distinct Axact flavour are being registered. The domain southamericauniversity dot com was registered in June, registration made out to someone in Nigeria.
     
  5. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    Indeed, there are good schools of both types - madrasas and universities. As I mentioned - my quote (PBS) does not apply to all madrasas - or anywhere near all, for that matter. Just the Saudi-financed Wahhabi-centred ones. I think we can both agree on what I said earlier: "not all madrasas are created equal." Nor are universities - whether in Pakistan or anywhere else. Or why would we need this forum to sort 'em out. :smile:

    I'm amazed that with the whole regime crawling with investigators - and the principals fairly nabbed by the authorities - Axact seems to be undergoing a resurgence. It boggles the mind! :shock:

    J.

    As-tu vu ma go? (Cameroon - I seem to be obsessed with camfranglais lately - J.)
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 6, 2015
  6. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    Innova University site is uh...interesting. Yes, it does indeed resemble an Axact site - but this one gives an American address: 700 N. Valley St. Anaheim CA. 92801. The accreditation page is also quite mysterious:

    "... Innova University is duly accredited by internationally recognized accreditation bodies" but it doesn't mention which bodies. No - not even one. :question:

    If they're in California as they say, they'll likely need BPPE approval. Nowhere do they even mention BPPE...

    J.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 6, 2015
  7. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    Oh, my! Went to another Innova U. page (the FAQ) and found this halfway down:

    "Regent is a fully accredited university which is recognized by the globally renowned accreditation body QOECB (Quality Online Education Certification Bureau). Click here to learn more about QOECB." What's this? Borrowed boilerplate from Regent U. on the Innova page?

    The link didn't work so I Googled it. Yup -QOECB is the same outfit that accredited Axact's Nixon University - not Stephen Colbert's revived Nixon U. That's enough for me...

    J.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 6, 2015
  8. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    If the text started out as a much-modified snippet from the legit (SACS-accredited) Regent U - I should say stolen boilerplate. If it's from some Axact-originated fabrication called "Regent" -- then "borrowed" will do. :smile:

    J.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 6, 2015
  9. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    700 N. Valley St. Anaheim CA. 92801 - There is a virtual mail and forwarding company at this address. What a surprise! :sad:

    J.
     
  10. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    Sorry - missed that. Regent International has morphed into Innova U., as you say, mbwa shenzi.

    As far as South America U. goes - it bears a startling relationship to the Innova site. Ownership of Innova domain is behind a privacy screen but I'd figure the same hands may very well have been in the creation of both sites. South America U. claims accreditation from Something called ACFHE - Accrediting Council For Higher Education. This outfit once accredited a thingy called "California Creek University" - there's no longer a web-page for this CCU, but still something on Facebook and a couple of blogs. I came across something else that suggested Wallis and Futuna Is. might be - or have been - the home of the "accreditor" ACFHE, but I can't verify it. Totally unrecognized as far as US accreditation goes, anyway.

    Also, besides the similarities in general appearance and organization, the accreditation statements of both schools - Innova U. and South America U. contain exactly the same blurb:

    Since South America University is duly accredited by internationally recognized accreditation bodies, it is entitled to receive certain privileges such as the provision of financial assistance to its students in the form of grants and scholarships; both private and state sponsored. Additionally, the credits of the degrees earned from South America University can be easily transferred to other universities, both traditional and online. Thanks to the accreditation by the well-known accreditation agencies, South America students are now more acknowledged and recognized and readily hired by the world's most reputed private, national, and multinational organizations ..."

    ...yawn... :sad:

    J.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 7, 2015
  11. Kizmet

    Kizmet Moderator Staff Member

    I'm sure I'm being naive, but if all the Axact guys were arrested, who's running all these bogus entities?
     
  12. mbwa shenzi

    mbwa shenzi Active Member

    According to some, Axact had it’s origins in P.E.C.H.S., Pakistan Employees Cooperative Housing Society, a neighbourhood in Jamshed Town, Karachi. I think that’s a valid assumption: as far as some of the earliest domains were concerned, registration was made usually made out to individuals with addresses in P.E.C.H.S. It’s entirely possible that Axact maintained a presence in P.E.C.H.S.

    It could also be the case that former Axact employees have set up shop elsewhere, for instance in Dubai where Pakistanis are the second largest ethnic group. Perhaps it didn’t even require too much effort: Axact degrees were often shipped from Dubai so the infrastructure was probably already in place.

    It’s interesting that southamericauniversity dot com is registered to someone in Nigeria. It could mean that business-minded Nigerians have picked up what’s left of Axact but I think – although I don’t have any evidence – that there may have been, let’s say “academic exchange” between Nigeria and Pakistan for quite a while now.

    @Johann

    ACHE was an unrecognized accrediting agency. It’s gone now, but if memory serves me right, it used to accredit Brain Wells University – not a UK university, at the time on the .ws (Western Samoa) top-level domain. As far as I can remember, ACHE shared both phone and fax with a hotel in Wallis & Futuna.
     
  13. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    I believe the registrant is also director/owner of a web-design co...

    J.
     
  14. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    Nowadays, Brain Wells U. shows a London UK site that's easily found - bwu-dot-ac - and offers many degrees up to M. Phil and Ph.D. claiming OFSTED and other accreditations. I don't know where these degrees might originate - perhaps an offshore BWU location, as Brain Wells U. does not appear to be a listed UK degree provider. At least it says so here: https://www.hedd.ac.uk/viewInstitution?id=746. I am unable to dig up any whois info on the site. Could the ".ac" in this case possibly be the Ascension Island country code, rather than a Commonwealth-orbit .ac domain?

    I believe that over the years Brain Wells U. has had Canadian, UK and Irish addresses - and in its current UK page mentions its birthplace as California. IIRC, you (mbwa shenzi) also mentioned a year or two back that its name was also among the "8 Copthall" group of Dominican company registrations of Universities. That was in the thread-that-shall-not-be-named on another forum. :smile:

    J.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 8, 2015
  15. Kizmet

    Kizmet Moderator Staff Member

  16. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    To answer my own question, I think it has to be. The websites of legit Commonwealth-orbit universities usually have their country-code after the .ac domain - e.g. .ac.uk (UK) .ac.in (India) .ac.za (South Africa) etc. So, I think the rather lonely .ac in BWU's case must indeed be a country code - that of Ascension Island, to be precise. I'm sure I've seen this done before. :smile:

    meh. Probably not a topic worth further belabouring or discussion. Sorry if I woke anyone.... :smile:

    J.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 9, 2015
  17. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly Staff Member

    We've had this conversation before, and not that long ago. An easy Google search for "university" that only shows results in the .ac domain will tell you that a wide variety of institutions use it, obviously in the sense of "academic" and not Ascension Island. And this is no more surprising than that that most of the sites using the .tv domain concern television shows/networks rather than the country of Tuvalu.
     
  18. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    @Steve:

    From the wiki on diploma mills:

    "Some diploma mills use an .ac top-level domain name, which resembles genuine second-level academic domain names like ac.uk but is in fact the ccTLD for Ascension Island.

    Plus - If you go to the main pages of those universities in your Google link - they generally come up as .ac plus country code in the browser bar, as I described. I did that with Huddersfield, Newcastle, East Anglia and Buckingham. All came up with .ac.uk. Two were accessed directly from your linked Google listing.

    this school has zero UK degree-granting authority and consequently I don't think that's a real .ac domain.

    J.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 10, 2015
  19. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    A quote from "Degree Mills - The Billion-Dollar Industry." (Dr. John Bear.)

    "The champion (of foreign locations) is Ascension Island, whose .ac Internet abbreviation is much in demand, since it is easily confused with the British .ac designation used by academic schools. Several dozen "universities" call this rock outcropping with a permanent population of well, zero, their home."

    Are you saying Dr. Bear is wrong, Steve? :smile:

    J

    "Toto, we're not in Tuvalu any more..."
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 10, 2015
  20. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    Well, here's something. In the same London building as BWU is a Norfolk-Island registered University, International University of America in London. IUA-dot-ac (once again). It shares a lot of wording with the BWU site, and says it was established by the same corporation.

    Here's some info from its page:

    The International University of America (IUA) in London was originally founded and
    incorporated as a degree granting university in the State of California, USA, in 1980. However,
    since 2001, IUA is registered in Norfolk Island, within the Australian Commonwealth and
    more recently (2004) in Mississippi, USA, as a degree granting University. It is accredited and
    validated by the World Association of Universities and Colleges (WAUC), USA."

    I'm sure you remember WAUC - the late Dr. Maxine Asher, Atlantis etc.

    Steve - is this one a genuine .ac (academic) domain? :smile:

    J.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 10, 2015

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