Groupon University

Discussion in 'Business and MBA degrees' started by Kizmet, Feb 12, 2020.

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  1. Thorne

    Thorne Member

    I believe it's being evaluated as a 4th year study, so a Bachelor of Honours in [Major], which is still a really good price for $300 + Evaluation Fee.

    I think the EU evaluations as a year of graduate study culminating in a Bachelor of Honours or a PGCert is entirely valid, since customarily a Master's in the EU is 120-180 ECTS. The US evaluation as a Bachelor's makes no sense, since our Master's are between 24 and 36 credits on average, but that's beyond the scope of this exact moment.
  2. innen_oda

    innen_oda Member

    So not a Bachelor then.

    For a European qualification, 300 + evaluation cost + cost of printed qualification (which, for some bizarre reason, is the same cost as the ENEB degree itself) brings the cost closer to $800+ . . . not terrible, but considering the questions around the portability of the degree, and the wider recognition of it as a valid qualification, it's not as great a deal as might first appear.
  3. Thorne

    Thorne Member

    It comes in through NARIC as an Advanced / Honours Bachelor's degree though. The number of people who are going to look at number of credits on a Bachelor of Honours degree for employment is...let's be honest, it's quite low.

    And again, this only matters if you need an evaluation for some reason. The vast majority of us don't need evaluations on these degrees, making them both cheap and portable.
  4. innen_oda

    innen_oda Member

    My query about the ECTS was related to the fact that NARIC apparently evaluated 60 as equivalent to 180. The whole point of ECTS was to provide a baseline across Europe that we could work out whether a course in one EU country was equivalent to another. If now 60 = 180, we're back to the drawing board on ECTS.

    I'm not sure why people keep bringing up 'it was evaluated as equivalent to <such-and-such>!', and then when it turns out that the evaluation wasn't quite that, it's then 'well whatever, evaluations don't matter for me anyway'. A weird exercise in throwing everything at the wall to see what sticks.
  5. Thorne

    Thorne Member

    If you say so

    Time to climb on my portable soapbox...

    I bring it up because I find it exciting -- an Advanced Bachelor's, PGCert, or Master's degree for $300? In any form or fashion, that is amazing!
    I'm also not based in Europe, so my discussion of the European evaluations is moot -- I neither live there nor are party to its laws -- I just find it interesting.

    I'm beginning to find this exercise exhausting though. One can argue, and I spitball because I don't know EU Law particularly well, that 60 ECTS at the Graduate level requiring a Bachelor's for entry means it should be always considered either a PGCert or PGDip in any European country, propio or not. To have ECTS tied to the degree, the school has to be an accredited institution, usually under ENQA -- which UI1 is (UI1 is accredited by ACSUCYL which is an ENQA member) and to cheapen these as anything sub-graduate is degrading and pointless, since the EHEA is a thing.

    The reason I point it out is because I think degree evaluation, as a whole, is a sham anyway. Unless someone is going into a highly regulated field like medicine, law, or engineering AND their institution is accredited by some legal accrediting body, why should anyone care? 60 ECTS / 30 Semester Credits at the Graduate level being evaluated as a Bachelor's program or entirely unrecognized because it is called "propio," in spite of the fact that it comes from a legal, European-accredited school? Please, that's just designed to hold up our bloated, overpriced American education system or maintain the illusion of superiority that some nations have.

    I've known exactly what mileage I want from this program, I'm confident I'll get it, but everyone and their grandmother thinks there is a smoking gun of some kind that changes the "moral" or "ethical" answer when those are all highly subjective and what really matters is the legal answer paired with one's own conscience. The next thing we know, someone will say "oh, it's a Bachelor's degree according to NARIC, so I can't list it as a Master's and you're unethical if you do it."

    ...okay, I'm getting off the soapbox now.
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  6. TeacherBelgium

    TeacherBelgium Active Member

    It was evaluated as an advanced bachelor degree.
    Advanced bachelor degrees are bachelor degrees that build further on a first bachelor degree (of 180 ECTS). They are 60 ECTS credits and can be completed in one year.
  7. innen_oda

    innen_oda Member

    Mate, I feel the same. I haven't enrolled in this 'degree' because I think it's a qualification for people who believe informercials, but still find the endeavour interesting and am interested to see where it will go.

    I do think you are confused about the concept of 'legal', and the distinction between 'unaccredited' 'unrecognised' and 'illegal'. ECTS doesnt particuarly intersect with EU Law, so you don't need to know EU Law to understand the fundamental concept of ECTS and what it is (was?) trying to accomplish.

    No one's telling you how you want to interpret this degree, what value it will hold for you, or even whether you should continue posting here if it's exhausting.
    But words and labels do mean things, and there is a difference between a Master's degree and a Bachelor's degree, and an online course.

    We all know this to be true - look at the difference in reception here between a $300 course calling itself a certificate, and a $300 course calling itself a Master degree.

    Since everyone has individual circumstances, it's all the more important to be upfront about what this degree can and cannot do. If it's a called a Master's degree, people will naturally have certain expectations about the degree. This game of trying to deliberately use certain words to indicate things, and then saying 'no, those words don't have to mean anything' is a bit disingenuous.

    Anyway, when I google "advanced bachelor degree", I'm not seeing very impressive results. Sounds like an attempt at clever marketing for a certificate, tbh.
  8. Maniac Craniac

    Maniac Craniac Moderator Staff Member

    Try googling "honours bachelor" instead. It's not a marketing gimmick. It's an actual thing.
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  9. LearningAddict

    LearningAddict Well-Known Member

    Incendiary nonsense.

    Except, one is literally a Masters degree, not just calling itself one.

    I don't see where you're getting that scenario from. We've established a long time ago now that a Master Propio degree (at least in the confines of what we've discussed with consideration to most of us being in the U.S. ) is a unique kind of Masters degree, and as such has certain limits in Spain (no entry to Doctoral programs or public service) which are unimportant to people living and working in America. I don't think anyone is denying that.

    The current known limit in America is that one respected evaluator evaluated it as equivalent to a regionally accredited Bachelors degree. Great because it is considered equivalent to a regionally accredited degree, bad because that evaluation says it was equivalent to an RA Bachelors degree and not a Masters based on a highly questionable viewpoint (ECE only evaluated it that way because the schools in Spain allow 3-year Bachelors degree for entry, and to reiterate, that is a highly questionable reason with a number of obvious flaws). But the fact remains, that a Masters degree earned from one country does not suddenly become a Bachelors degree in another simply because an evaluator says so. Just like a WGU Masters doesn't suddenly become non-existent simply because Germany doesn't recognize it.
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2020
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  10. TeacherBelgium

    TeacherBelgium Active Member

    I think you might be a bit confused there. Advanced bachelor's degrees are awarded by many institutions here in Europe and are very common.
    They take 60 ECTS and build further on a previous education.
    An advanced bachelor is a real bachelor, just a shortened one.
    The content of a bachelor is condensed in 1 year and is meant as a specialization.

    It's a master propio in Spain but since the rest of Europe doesn't work with titulo propio and titulo official distinction, they need to look within the national framework what it best matches with.
    In this case it matches best with an advanced bachelor's degree according to NARIC's judgment.
    That is a lower level than a master's degree, I'm aware of that.

    It's not comparable to a certificate.
    This programme consisted of 60 ECTS and had an official duration of 1500 hours.
    Certificates here in Europe would be around 20 ECTS or 500 hours.
    You wouldn't get a degree after completing a certificate.

    We can philosophy about whether this is a real degree or not until next year if we wanted to but the only one who needs to determine if it's a real degree is the duly formed university issuing it and the credential evaluator.
    Both recognised it as a real degree.
    Whether you like that or not is a different matter.
    University of Phoenix also awards real degrees.
    Many people call them a diploma mill but fact of the matter stays that they have legal authority to offer degrees and they are accredited.

    De gustibus et coloribus non disputandum est.
    It's pointless to argue about colors and flavors.
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2020
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  11. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    I wouldn't put such a non sequitur past any evaluator. They probably figured "No. It doesn't qualify as a master's here, simply because it's a propio. But it's from a legit school and therefore worth something. Let's downgrade it to something (anything) lesser - a Bachelor's. Yeah, that's handy."

    They obviously didn't bother counting credits, possibly assuming (or seeing) that the holder probably had a legit bachelor's (from somewhere) or - more likely - overlooking the numbers mismatch entirely. I think credential evaluation is far from an exact science. A lot like seat-of-the-pants flying - often uses the same body part.
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2020
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  12. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    Intentionally or otherwise.
  13. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    Not entirely, methinks. Possibly because completely bogus degrees are "sold" EXACTLY the same way. "If it looks like a duck, etc." ...Well, not 100% I suppose, but there was a definite resemblance, even if it was in selling tactics alone.
    Yes - it most often does mean exactly what you said it doesn't. If employers etc. go by that evaluation, the degree effectively becomes what the evaluator says it is - IN THAT COUNTRY. And if German authorities say it isn't a degree - then in Germany, it isn't. That's why they call them authorities - they have authority. What they say - GOES.
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  14. TeacherBelgium

    TeacherBelgium Active Member

    Whatever their motives were, they evaluated it as a decent degree.
    That's all that counts for me personally.
    Not going to lose sleep over whether it's truly a master or not.
    An advanced bachelor is still pretty okay-ish.
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  15. TeacherBelgium

    TeacherBelgium Active Member

    You're not a fan of ENEB or Isabel 1, so much is clear.
    It's a bit of a pity because if you took one of their courses you would see how in depth they are and how legit.
    Their Groupon advertising was unhandy but then again, if they were priced at their original €8000 price probably none of us would be able to tell something about their programmes because price would have formed a barrier.
    This notion that education has to be advertised in elitist ways and needs to cost an arm and a leg for it to be legit is such a sad thinking.
    I'm greatful that they advertised on Groupon. Otherwise I would never have had the luck to finish such a programme. Economic barriers alone would have kept me back.
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  16. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    Not so. I believe you - and others who have reported similarly. I was merely commenting that at the outset, the whole thing LOOKED bad. And it did. When people say "it isn't what it looks like" - it usually IS. This, it turns out, was an exception.

    And about the evaluations. I had two points in mind, neither of them to the disfavor of any degree.

    (1) Evaluations are often more arbitrary than 100% rule-based or quantitative. They're not an exact science and we shouldn't expect them to be. My response to a comment questioning the 60 credits and Bachelor's evaluation.

    (2) Commenting on the authority of authorities. If German authorities say it is/is not such and such - then it IS whatever they say - in Germany. Other places - other authorities.

    No degrees were harmed in the creation of this post. Everyone, back to work. :)
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2020
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  17. Thorne

    Thorne Member

    I just feel compelled to say, I doubt this is true. I see Johann almost like Gregory House -- a bit abraisive but well-intentioned and full of fun sarcasm ;)

    I spent 9 months before biting on this, doing probably 100 hours of research along the way because, as he put it, it looked fishy. I'm a proud soon-to-be alumnus now, but it had a lot to overcome, like:
    - Offering a Hague apostille (usually mills, but also offered by several major private universities in Spain, Portugal, and Italy -- Nebrija, Miguel Cervantes, and even UNED)
    - Price tag astronomically low (makes some sense as a DL degree in Europe and more sense as a Propio, but even then those degrees usually cost 5-10x as much)
    - Presented as a BOGO offer (need I say more?)
    - Teaching institution lacks accreditation
    - Teaching institution not recognized as a university (but awarding institution recognized, so this became moot)

    I mean...that's a tough sell, which is why I spent so long figuring it out.

    And the truth is that yes, authorities and law matter. If I want to work for a company that demands an evaluation, however unlikely this may be, then the evaluator's word is valid for that position, or if the law dictates that my degree must be recognized by an authority other than my awarding institution and its accreditors, then my degree is only as valid as the evaluators say for that country.
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  18. innen_oda

    innen_oda Member

    I think you're on the mark here - something about Hanlon and his razor comes to mind.
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  19. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    Only a BIT abrasive? I'm disappointed - in myself. I'm obviously not doing my full job. Time to shape up. Now, get back to work - all of you! :(

    Floggings will continue until morale improves.
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  20. innen_oda

    innen_oda Member

    Honestly, the price is the least concerning aspect to my mind. Paying several thousand dollars for a degree is not the norm in much of Europe, and in some contexts, the more cost attached to a degree, the less legitimacy it has. There are plenty of free or low cost degrees here, so I wouldn't for a second write off a qualification just because it's very cheap or free. (I would, though, want to have an idea where the funding is coming from.)

    However, the fact that the cost of the paper certificate ran at another $300 gave me pause, and was what gave rise to the infomercial association. Some magical doohickey for only $2.99 . . . plus $15.99 if you actually want to receive the product. S+H isn't $15.99, just like printing out your degree paper isn't $300. It's another way to make money off unsuspecting people who skip over the fine print in the excitement to 'get a deal'.

    That, and the endless astroturfing on various forums, from one-time posters with somewhat questionable English, all defending ENEB in precisely the same manner.

    It looked dodgy right away.

    I'm looking at this from the perspective of an employer, and how an ENEB degree on a CV would help or hinder an applicant.

    Google your degree. Name of school, plus name of qualification. If you're about to be hired for a job - or if the hiring manager has more time, they'll do it before they interview multiple candidates - chances are this will be a part of your employer's verification process. It takes maybe 20 seconds to Google, plus another 5 minutes checking the results. It's one of the cheapest ways to catch out a potential employee who is putting questionable qualifications on their CV.

    I worked in a field with a lot of international job applicants, for positions requiring college qualifications, and there was no way I could know the tertiary structure of every country, or the relative reputation of University A compared to University B. But google did. :) Seemingly good candidates, who would be otherwise been hired, but did something stupid like list their PhD from a very not genuine source. Did they need a PhD for this position? No. But once they put that on their CV, and I sought to spent 3 minutes researching it and discovered the deception, their other qualifications are of no interest to me, and the CV went in the (recycle) bin.

    Maybe they were awesome, despite this one silly claim. But I have 59 other candidates, and I'm not going to risk my time with someone who either is trying to deceive me, or has been deceived themselves.

    For personal development, it might be worth the $300-600 (and hundreds of hours of time). But in terms of getting ahead professionally, I see it as far more risk than reward.
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