Groupon University

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

  1. Maniac Craniac

    Maniac Craniac Moderator Staff Member

    I couldn't tell from your post, but does this mean that studies at any foreign institution quality for loan deferment?

    If so, one could score big by finding a cheap program (such as the one that is the topic of this thread) in which you can remain enrolled for multiple years. The savings on the interest could be enormous, depending on the amount of the loan.
  2. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    No. Only study at foreign institutions participating in FAFSA. They each have a 6-digit Federal School Code. Participating foreign schools can be found on the FAFSA website.

    Even if your foreign school participates in FAFSA and has a code, you won't save any money during a deferment. Interest still accrues on the loan during this type of deferment. Your balance, thus, will be higher after your deferment ends.
    Maniac Craniac likes this.
  3. Maniac Craniac

    Maniac Craniac Moderator Staff Member

    Wow. I literally had absolutely no idea what I was talking about.

    Thanks for setting me straight :emoji_face_palm:
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2020
  4. Maxwell_Smart

    Maxwell_Smart Active Member

  5. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly Staff Member

    Thank you, this was very informative.
  6. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    From the English-language site:

    Current legislation in Spain does not allow credits obtained in a university-specific master’s degree to be validated for access to a PhD programme. To enter the doctorate level in the Spanish higher education system, it is necessary to hold an official master’s degree or equivalent (for example, a master's degree from another country which in that country gives access to PhD programmes).

    This matters. The acceptability of the degree for employment purposes is difficult to measure, but its (lack of) use for pursuing a higher degree is pretty clear.


    In the European Higher Education Area, EHEA, official master's degrees are recognized in all universities. It is, however, the legislation of each state which decides on the recognition or non-recognition of Spanish qualifications both in relation to official and specific master's degrees.

    It can be implied from that statement that the successful evaluation of such degrees as being equivalent, say, to a master's from an RA school is quite unclear.

    Oh, and you have to have an "official" degree to use it in public service. Again, quite telling.
  7. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly Staff Member

    This matters a great deal, yes, but only to those interested in doctoral work at a Spanish university or public employment in Spain.
    Maniac Craniac likes this.
  8. Stanislav

    Stanislav Well-Known Member

    Bottom line is, the thing is murky. It looks like this thing is used widely in Spain as a continuing training vehicle. So at the very least, it is an equivalent of a verified certificate with a recognized University's logo on it (like the ones you could get at Coursera). On the other hand, Spanish law explicitly allows the universities to call it "MBA" or any other Master's degree title, as long it's recognizably propio and the University certifies it's equivalent to a Master's in length (minimum of 60 ETCS credits).
    So if I was to earn a Master's in Data Science from this outfit, I suppose it adds something to an IT person's resume - But Coursera specialization from IBM might be more impressive (arguably, better content too). Except for a highly hypothetical case where this is evaluated for graduate credit AND this fact is significant (like getting to adjunct in another area). You could list it as a Master's and be able to defend it when challenged, so this is something, but I imagine some people will stop at the fact it's a Groupon and will not listen about Spanish law (not unlike the bias against for-profits). The fact that it is actually cheaper than the Coursera specialization means it could be tried without that much risk, and the training itself is at least somewhat worthwhile. I feel that it's an interesting and possibly worthwhile thing, BUT one shouldn't expect that it will be always accepted as RA equivalent degree.
  9. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly Staff Member

    So you clearly believe, although I didn't read anything in your response that outweighs what I consider the key point: the internationally recognized university that's awarding the qualification says it's a Master's degree.

    That said, however, I agree that it would be very helpful for Americans if someone would do evaluations of one or more of their Master's programs through WES and other NACES members. So I've written ENEB and asked whether they're aware of this having been done and if so what the result was, and I'll report the results.
  10. Stanislav

    Stanislav Well-Known Member

    Some folks at are doing this, so I'd bet someone at some point will try to get it evaluated and report back.
    The point is that the top-of-the-line recognition in Spain is the one from the government. None of us is from Spain, so we don't know whether propios are seen as less than officiel (pretty likely) and if yes, then by how much (that's unknown, but I don't think they're seen as milled credentials).

    Again, I'm reasoning by analogy. I know of a few non-state degrees awarded by recognized universities in Ukraine. There's the whole universe of MBAs; I don't know much about how these things are seen domestically (top schools charge top dollar for these, weirdly enough). Then I know of two schools discussed here that did this to some degree: IUBL Kherson and MAUP (or IAPM I guess; the anti-Semite school). I learned about them on this forum; can't imagine they are anything other than complete jokes to locals. These are not RA-equivalent and should not be. At the other end of the spectrum, there's the whole business of internally-awarded doctorates in Russia, a new thing; but so far only a couple of top schools are doing this, they get explicit authorization, and (important) they are supposed to be equal to government PhDs by law. Ukrainian funny papers wouldn't get validated by NARIC Ukraine, so WES would not even look at these; Russian PhD's from eg. Higher School of Economics are a real deal and should be accepted (as much as it pains me to say this about anything Russian). This Spanish situation is somewhere in between. Where? anyone's guess.
  11. Maniac Craniac

    Maniac Craniac Moderator Staff Member

    Well, one could use this program to learn a few things and to get a piece of paper on their wall. Sounds like it's at least worth the $299 price tag, even if its potential utility in the job market is best described by a bunch of asterisks and question marks.

    Going on just the info shared in this thread, I'm labeling this one "legitimate, but lacking prestige, possibly sub-par and more than a little bit weird".
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2020
    Mac Juli likes this.
  12. Stanislav

    Stanislav Well-Known Member

    I'm inclined to agree. While at it, even Business Spanish and NLP modules could be of some use.
  13. Johann766

    Johann766 Member

    Out of curiosity, could you name one? Thanks.
  14. JoshD

    JoshD Active Member

    Your last paragraph sums up my sentiment. I do feel it is legitimate, lacking prestige and most likely sub-par. I think it is REALLY weird too. I have never seen anything like this before. Lol
    Mac Juli likes this.
  15. Mac Juli

    Mac Juli Active Member


    Maybe it lacks prestige, but I am currently doing it (en passant, as I try to make my MBA thesis) and would certainly not consider it sub-par. However, I am not going to debate that getting an MBA via Groupon is somewhat weird - it is, without a doubt - but hey, why not consider this a textbook example of penetration pricing? :)

    Best regards,
    Mac Juli
  16. JoshD

    JoshD Active Member

    Appreciate your response. You state that you would not consider it sub-par so I am genuinely curious why you believe that? I am not knocking you, or your pursuit of this credential, but I am curious as to your reasoning behind your statement.
    Mac Juli likes this.
  17. Mac Juli

    Mac Juli Active Member


    See, as stated in my introduction, I have a certain approach in studying. This approach can be compared with that of a 5-year old boy left alone with $500 in a candy / toy-store. And hey, why not, as polishing my CV is only one of several goals I pursue.

    So, I was at approximately one dozen German, EU, US- and UK-based universities, academies, courses et cetera. I studied several subjects at several levels; undergraduate, but also postgraduate. Hence, based on these experiences, I could set a scale from zero points (real bad university like the one I revieved some days ago) from 100 points (very demanding courses like the UK-based Level 7 Award in Management). Based on this scale and on a solid decade of experience, this gets at very least a solid 70. The quizzes are a joke, but the mandatory case studies for each module are a real brain-teaser. Overall, this can easily be compared with solid UK-based Level 6 to Level 7, which equals 3rd year Bachelor / 1st year PG.

    So, it may not be Harvard, the MIT or the Open but it is definetly not a joke institution.

    Best regards,
    Mac Juli
  18. asianphd

    asianphd Member

    I am doing this kind of propio from two schools/universities.

    Most likely, I will refer them as a Master's certificate, or Post-Graduate diploma, or something else. Just to make sure that it is not a standard university degree as we universally understand it.

    Actually, in Spain, many schools is offering the propio. They are comes in the different names (master propio, titulo propio, experto).

    The school that offering this kind of program is called business school. The majority of them are business schools.

    The learning process is in Spanish. I am not a Spanish speaker, but I took the program because of the affordability.

    As I said, I enrolled in two different schools. One school that I enrolled in, surprisingly send me a package, contain textbook, notebook, memo and some motivation letters with a small bag :D

    Why would I want to enroll in it in the first place? It simply because I already have a degree, so the purpose of doing the propio is both for the knowledge itself and the certificate. I have a degree in Engineering, and I want to work as a Data Scientist. What should I do? Propio is the answer. I just need to find a propio related to Data Science. Then, after finishing them; I can put them on my CV. I believe it carries some weight to the eyes of the employee.

    As far as I know, they also didn't grant a degree letter (like MA, or MS). I am not sure about this. Maybe someone can confirm this matter?
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2020
  19. LearningAddict

    LearningAddict Well-Known Member

    The Groupon thing and the price all seems strange to us, but perhaps that's an American hangup because we're accustomed to spending away a life's fortune on a degree?

    The arrangement of learning through one school and receiving a degree from another is strange to us because it's not as common a thing here, but in other places in the world it is common.

    I've never been one to criticize a legitimate program I haven't actually seen myself, so if someone has gone through it and says it's fine , or not fine, then that's all I can go on. It wouldn't be my personal conclusion either way obviously since I've never seen it myself, but it also doesn't give me room to call it "subpar" since I haven't seen it myself.

    What we know now for certain is that the school is accredited by a recognized accreditor in Spain and it is legit. Concerns about Propio degrees are concerns for Spaniards, and even then the concerns are only for seeking a PhD in Spain or a public service job in Spain. According to the link Max posted from a well-respected University in Spain, this is a non-issue in the private sector. Clearly, Isabel is not as highly respected, but it also has a much shorter history than the school in that link.

    It's reasonable to want to see the results of a foreign credential evaluation, I want to see them as well. But, I'm going to sidestep unfounded claims against the school's rigor and material and only take into account claims from people who've actually been in the program. So far I've read lots of good things, a few bad things, and at least one very bad thing. All of that can be said about any program on earth.
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2020
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  20. Stanislav

    Stanislav Well-Known Member

    The one is International University of Business and Law in Kherson. It was discussed here; unknown, for-profit school, but definitely accredited. Some folks elsewhere posted degrees from there obtained via one of these "joint" programs, with images; definitely not of the "state format" required at the time. This is such a joke they don't even put it on their main web site. I am not sure if they still do it or not.

    The other is Interregional Academy of Personnel Management, known by Ukrainian acronym MAUP. This might be the biggest for-profit school in the country; unfortunately it is more well known by blatant bigotry of it's founder, spread through MAUP. This one has an in-house "PhD" program in many more fields than they are allowed under the state process. They offer both state "Aspirantura" in a couple of fields and it's own doctoral school. Known white supremacist "Dr." David Duke boasts a PhD from that place; it's in History, which I don't think they were ever allowed to offer through the official process. Ironically, Volodymyr Groysman, former Prime Minister and first Jew in that role, also has MAUP degrees (I believe both BS and MS; these are accredited); this is consistent with their normal role of providing degrees in Evening format to busy working adults (I think Groysman was a Mayor at the time).

    Also, we discussed Taras Shevchenko Open University; this was, basically, a scam, not actually controlled by the Shevchenko U. (even though they did obtain some "MOU"). It's defunct now.

    Then there is the whole world of MBA programs, which are not mainstream degrees there simply because the state does not regulate degrees in Business Administration, yet. I know virtually nothing about these; looks like it's mostly Executive education for higher management. I'd guess some schools are better than others, Kyiv School of Economics (affiliated with a state university, has the absolute best Economics programs in the country) and Lviv Business School (of Ukrainian Catholic University) both have MBA's, Executive programs, very expensive (for Ukraine). Ironically, their other Master's programs HAVE the recognition yet are substantially cheaper. Of course anything KSE and LvBS do is legit; how useful, I don't know.

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