Central University of Nicaragua Degree Scheme

Discussion in 'Accreditation Discussions (RA, DETC, state approva' started by Rich Douglas, Nov 21, 2021.

  1. AsianStew

    AsianStew Moderator Staff Member

    I like foreign credential evaluators who try to provide some information at least, many of the ones I try to get a little bit of detail from them keep asking to have an evaluation completed and that they can't pre-evaluate anything. FCE's who are more transparent to what they can do for you are ideal, I just hate getting replies back with a link or a copy/paste of their fees and telling me how to go ahead to get a 'real evaluation' completed.

    Oh, and in regard to the universities in Nicaragua, I guess each and every one of those have to follow whatever the changes are for their university education or online offerings? Are none of them deemed "RA" by default? Not even the largest public university? I don't know what a the full scope of the required changes are, so I am wondering...
  2. RFValve

    RFValve Well-Known Member

    I think there is a liability issue as well. It is not the same to evaluate a PhD in history than a PhD in Psychology. If a person gets licensed as a psychologists based on an UCN PhD and performs harm, someone can go after WES or any other evaluation firm that gave access to a person to this license. It is not just Nicaragua but a list of countries with weaker education systems that share the same bias.
    I am sure there will be some less controversial affordable PhDs available in the future. The school below in Mexico claims affiliation with ECE for foreign degree evaluations and also offer a PhD in Psychology:
  3. LearningAddict

    LearningAddict Well-Known Member

    Would be hard to win a case like that though, because in the United States it's up to each individual state to grant a Psychologist's license and the person has to pass the EPP exam before that can happen.
  4. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    That's the Open International University for Complementary Medicine, right? I'm pretty sure about them. Been reading about them for around 15 years now. Here's one of scores of stories on this school.
    Want others? - There are pages.

    I believe the school was established by a "real" doctor - bona-fide UK medical degree. Prof. Dr. Sir Anton Jayasurira, IIRC. In the old days, it was certainly possible to get a PhD for money. The school was even known, on occasion, to supply "canned" dissertations, for those who preferred not to write one. For an extra $400 or so, back then you could get an "Albert Schweitzer Prize" or even a Knighthood (!) with your Doctorate.

    I read something by an official of the school, years ago, saying they didn't do the Knighthoods, canned Diss or Prizes any more. They had realized it was wrong, but it was the only way that "the Dear Lord Jayasurira" could have kept the school running, financially, at that time. ("Dear Lord" was a new title, conferred after the founder's death.)

    BTW - Rs 3L means 3 lakh - or 300,000 rupees. $3621.80 today US. You sure now, RFValve?
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2022
  5. RFValve

    RFValve Well-Known Member

    It is not a recognized school that offers alternative medicine programs. They are known for acupuncture but the country is known also for high level of corruption so it is not surprising that degrees are sold for a prize but these degrees carry no academic value.
    I am not sure about their Azteca affiliation but the last school has no expertise in Alternative medicine so I assume degrees would be propio degrees with no academic value either.
  6. RFValve

    RFValve Well-Known Member

    You are right but some people practice as psychotherapist, psychoanalyst or other titles that are not licensed with the PhD in Psychology degree. Some states are starting to license counsellors and psychotherapists so this might change.

    Things might change in the future, as Azteca is expanding rapidly in other countries, they might have the cash to start turning those propio degrees into official recognized degrees. I noticed that they are now in Sri Lanka with OIUCM, this last school is quite popular in AM and although it has bad rep, things might change with the right cash and marketing so it is quite possible that Azteca can emerge in the future as the king of cheaper recognized degrees for Asia, Europe and Latin America.

    I think it is quite possible for Azteca to start offering official PhDs soon if the demand is there and cash is there.

    Not all Universities started with accreditation and high recognition. NCU started with low and bad rep and eventually earned accreditation and better rep. Other schools have similar stories. Azteca is for sure good in expanding and making business deals.
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2022
  7. novadar

    novadar Member

    That statement is total BS:

    Here are two Doctorates at the main national University,
    National Autonomous University of Nicaragua - Universidad Nacional Autónoma de Nicaragua, Managua


    Doctorado Ciencias Ambientales
    Doctorado Historia con mención en estudios regionales y locales transdisciplinarios

    If you filter "Oferta de posgrado" on "Doctorado", a list of 8 Doctorates appear. So much for "no doctorates" in Nicaragua.
    Johann and tadj like this.
  8. RFValve

    RFValve Well-Known Member

    Good find, Carlton might want to forward this information to the NACES service. You can always challenge their evaluations based on evidence. I used WES and I had to challenge them few times before I could get the right evaluation, I had to send the documents and evidence so they could change their statements. There were errors such as translation of Australian credits into Canadian credits, grades, etc.
    novadar likes this.
  9. cacoleman1983

    cacoleman1983 Well-Known Member

    Globe Language Services already stated that Master Titulo Propio degrees will not be accepted on their website. They are wanting me to send my original documents when I get them for Azteca/UCN. However, I suspect that they will not evaluate for them either. They do not accept documents that are scanned and sent by email but want them either by physically visiting them or by mail. They are definitely not worth the hassle and they have many complaints prior to them being recognized by NACES on their Facebook profile.

    Foreign Academic Credential Servies rejected all the above after I emailed them nearly a week ago and they replied no recognition or evaluation for everything.

    It looks like IEE will be the evaluator to choose due to their positive feedback and transparency. I may try Josef Silny and Associates, Inc. International Education Consultants as they have given UCN a positive evaluation for a PhD in Psychology to one of our forum members. They still will not give any type of feedback for the Master Propio other than to send in documents.
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2022
  10. RFValve

    RFValve Well-Known Member

    If it serves, I recently applied to volunteer for the University of the People and was asked to submit a report from a NACES evaluator. I noticed one faculty member with a UCN degree so this person must have gotten this evaluation from somewhere.
    As UCN is an accredited school, at the very least, you should get an evaluation for the University credits but perhaps not for the level (PhD). This might be good enough to teach psychology as many places just need a masters degree with 18 graduate credits in the teaching area.
  11. Garp

    Garp Well-Known Member

    Did you get either of your diplomas yet?
  12. cacoleman1983

    cacoleman1983 Well-Known Member

    I'm trying to be as patient as possible. I received an official pass and recommendation for the PhD on Sept 2nd. I will give them till Feb which will be 5 months after my official pass before I start sending out inquiry emails again.
  13. JBjunior

    JBjunior Active Member

    I think you are in line to receive an official pass and recommendation for Sainthood for being so patient. When I finished my doctorate I was pushing every button I could to get the paperwork routed and official; after all of that work the least the school can do is uphold their part of the bargain.
  14. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly Staff Member

    It's your call, of course, but... why?
  15. cacoleman1983

    cacoleman1983 Well-Known Member

    The fact that it is an inter-university program with Nicaragua and that I have not been in the program for a full 3 years is why I've decided not to give them a hard time yet! I gave them one after turning in my thesis this past February and posting grievances here about it after receiving no responses for several months and was actually called out on it. I'm giving them till February since that is after the holidays with schools reopening to ensure I have all of my official graduation documents and FCE by the end of spring which would put me around the 3-year mark.
    SteveFoerster likes this.
  16. Garp

    Garp Well-Known Member

    Sorry you were chewed out. Hopefully, it all arrives in due course. Then off to Hobby Lobby for frames and matting.
  17. AsianStew

    AsianStew Moderator Staff Member

    @cacoleman1983 , Anyways, I believe any 3 year doctoral program that gets a favorable FCE is a good find. If future FCE's from UCN remain favorable, they would be a valid option for students. I was looking at them before and still am.
  18. tadj

    tadj Well-Known Member

    Update: I've mentioned UNIVAL on this thread. Well, it no longer exists. A true word of caution for foreign online students in Nicaragua. But I wanted to highlight one thing in particular from the article, as it may have some relevance for UCN;

    Here are some quotes from the translated article (https://www.swissinfo.ch/spa/nicaragua-universidad_el-gobierno-de-nicaragua-cierra-la-universidad-privada-unival/48135386)

    San José, Dec 14 (EFE).- The Government of Nicaragua, through the Ministry of the Interior, closed this Wednesday the private International University for the Integration of Latin America (Unival), created 25 years ago and whose headquarters are located in Managua. Through an agreement published in the "Official Gazette", "La Gaceta", the Ministry of the Interior of Nicaragua canceled the legal personality of Unival, which was registered as an NGO, in compliance with an administrative resolution of the National Council of Universities ( CNU) and the National Council for Evaluation and Accreditation (CNEA). The Ministry of the Interior explained that the CNU and the CNEA evaluated Unival from November 23 to 26, both at its headquarters in Managua and at its facilities located in the cities of Juigalpa, Jinotega, Matagalpa and Ocotal, with the purpose of to verify compliance with the career curriculum, as well as the number of teachers, enrollment, graduates, among others. "In 25 years of Unival's creation, it still does not have a consistent academic offer in terms of its minimum elements that the study plans required by the CNEA and the CNU must have," argued that portfolio, which is directed by Minister María Amelia Colonel Kinloch.

    Likewise, he maintained that no information was obtained about student enrollment, records of graduates by career, records of teachers who attend the different subjects of the virtual offer that Unival carries out outside of Nicaragua.


    Among others, he mentioned that the CNU has not authorized the execution of 13 undergraduate careers, 27 undergraduate degrees, 15 specialties and 29 international master's degrees in virtual mode (online).

    In addition, the international academic offer of Unival in various countries does not have the authorization of the CNU.

    Does UCN's international "virtual mode" and validation degree offer have the authorization of CNU? Are degrees issued by UCN valid?
    Dustin likes this.
  19. RFValve

    RFValve Well-Known Member

    UCN is a way stronger university than Unival with on campus programs in Medicine and other traditional fields. I did some research about this and there is no legislation that prevents UCN to grant degrees for foreign operations.

    In Costa Rica, private universities are allowed to grant degrees that are not approved by CONESUP as long as they are offered with foreign partner universities as they are not offered to local citizens. Basically, these degrees are legally granted but cannot be used in Costa Rica for professional use. My PhD is Business from private universities from Costa Rica that are not approved by CONESUP will not allow me to get a job as a professor at a public university that requires a PhD in Costa Rica according to their law.

    A similar story with Azteca, they are allowed to grant degrees in any field and level as long as they disclose in their degrees that these are not approved by the minister of education of mexico. So they can legally grant a PhD but it cannot be used in Mexico for professional purposes. In few words, very few mexican would care about these degrees as have no use in Mexico but they might appeal to foreign students.

    In the case of Nicaragua, the legislation for private universities is not very clear, it looks like the UCN can grant degrees for people that graduate from foreign operations but not so sure if those degrees can be used in Nicaragua.

    Basically, the Costa Rican and Mexican law allow private schools to make money with foreign operations as long as those degrees are not used by local citizens for professional purposes. In the case of Nicaragua, the law is not very clear. However, as Nicaragua does not have tons of jobs in research and most of these foreign operations are to offer research degrees, it is very unlikely that any PhD from UCN actually searches for work in Nicaragua with this qualification.

    The main issue is value for Americans or people in countries where foreign qualifications from Latin American have limited value. If the degree can be evaluated as equivalent, it can be used to be a professional adjunct or to qualify for a license like a counsellor or psychologist in some Canadian provinces that might accept distance learning for licensing purposes.

    However, even with the positive foreign equivalence evaluation, its use is limited. We have lots of people with PhDs from very good schools struggling for work, the foreign Nicaraguan PhD seems to me like a bit of a difficult sell where there are a lot of local candidates with solid credentials.
    tadj likes this.
  20. Garp

    Garp Well-Known Member

    I agree with the caution. If you want to use a PhD in Psychology from UCN you will have to do legwork to ensure that you have some likelihood of an FCE from an entity acceptable to your state AND that the program is structured to meet State requirements in terms of coursework (eg Psychopathology, Testing and Measurement and so on) and the required intern or practicum hours. A lot but then you have to convince someone locally to oversee your practicum as you earn a non resident degree from Nicaragua. Needless to say you won't be competing for APA internships.

    If your goal is simply to affordably earn a degree from a school you can lay claim to being accredited, then UCN may work for you. You may not ever be in a position to need an FCE.

    Only thing is to hope the school doesn't implode. Sounds like it has some structure (Medical School).

    I felt sorry for some of the Berne University (St. Kitts students). Not exactly the same situation but at one time their was an FCE willing to give them RA equivalency. Then the whole thing imploded and some US agency (VA?) wrote a bad report. Lost St. Kitts accreditation and morphed into Benelli and eventually closed I believe. For graduates who spent money, time, and dollars on residency it was a problem (especially when people Googled the school). If I recall there was at least one school administrator with a Berne University degree in School Administration.
    tadj likes this.

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