The Akamai Mystery

Discussion in 'Accreditation Discussions (RA, DETC, state approva' started by Dr. Latin Juris, Feb 24, 2005.

  1. Mohd Ali

    Mohd Ali New Member


    I thought Akamai is only promoting in Malaysia, they have gone to Vietnam as well. This make me think of Greenwich University from Australia last time. They have thousand of studnet here as well as China.

    BTW, I don't think Spain is part of any commonwealth? And how this Open Commonwealth University in BVI has related to Spain? I read an advertisement last year in Malaysia that Commonwealth Open University from BVI(UK) offering DBA and MBA. Are this the same university with the one from Spain. Also, there was a joint graduation ceremony of this Open University and Akamai in Malaysia.

    Malaysia is a member of British commonwealth.
  2. George Brown

    George Brown Active Member

    The above allegations (if true) do not bode well for Akamai's status and positioning as a credible, non-traditional higher education institution. The background checking of bona fide's, staffing, facilities and assessment are all standard procedures when one uses sub agents to outsource delivery of programs. It is, indeed, risky business and other threads have clearly demonstrated that Australian universities are not immune to this problem. Indeed, the AUQA here has recently been given substantial sums of money to conduct whole of country, offshore audits of Australian universities in order to curb these 'horror stories'. I hope Doug Capagrossi does something about this - and fast.


  3. stevekurdzin

    stevekurdzin New Member

    Check Akamai website, information about Vietnam agent are presented there.

    I also collected some promoted materials which has been used in Vietnam. All information such as: Akamai has been listed on USED website, the school obtained Certificate of Good Standing, licensed by Hawaii are presnted on the sheet naming: SUPPORTING INFORMATION. How clever it is when the agent choose the word of Supporting Information!

    Dr. Ben Lee also advertised: prospective students will be discounted 1000$ as scholarship if they register to MBA program by March 31 (Down from 3600 to 2600. It's a real bargain, right?). I've never seen this kind of scholarship award in my life.

    Hope Dr. Capograsi pay his attention to this matter and terminate his agent's activities as soon as possible.
  4. BillDayson

    BillDayson New Member

    Re: Akamai does the same thing in Vietnam

    I don't know where you got the idea that Akamai is the top unaccredited university in the US. That's ridiculous in my opinion.

    The best currently unaccredited university in the United States might be the new University of California campus at Merced. If you don't count New York Regents approval as accreditation (the US Dept. of Education does), then Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory would probably be the best. (Four Nobel Prizes are prety persuasive.) They recently rolled out a Ph.D. program after a century as a non-degree-granting research institute.

    As to Akamai, I just did a Google search for "akamai university" It generated a grand total of two hits. One was apparently irrelevant ("...akamai, university of...), and the other was this not-very-complementary page:

    That's not very reassuring for a university that grants doctorates.

    One thing about Akamai that I noticed is that it seems to be an umbrella organization that provides an institutional affiliation to an assortment of semi-independent educational entrepeneurs around the world. For example:

    "Project NatureConnect" offers degrees through both Akamai and West Coast University of Panama (or someplace). They also claim to be a UN NGO.

    EDS Advance certainly seems to fit that pattern.

    My impression is that Akamai offers their affiliates international marketing and a way to offer university degrees in places where local degree-granting powers are difficult to obtain.

    Despite only generating the two hits on .edu domains, a Google search for "Akamai University" on all domains generated 7,620 hits. Most of it was marketing. These people promote themselves aggressively.

    If you want diplomatic credentials along with your degree, Akamai has teamed up with the Regency of Lomar.

    The ROL used to be known as the Republic of Lomar, one of those non-existent internet 'nations'. Now it styles itself as an 'NGO' and claims to represent refugees and stateless individuals worldwide. Apparently it still distributes diplomatic credentials.

    I'm not impressed. I do think that the umbrella model might have some value if the central administration exercised real quality assurance functions in the manner of a British validating institution. But I don't really sense that happening here.
  5. salami89

    salami89 New Member

    They provided free sessions to listen to their well qualified so called professors and was disappointed by their quality it was as if it were a regurgitation from the text book or Net. Secondly, money is their primary objective and driver and emails to prospects were their primary means of communication if you were not convinced. Secondly, they did advertise in the newspapers and had some meals at a hotel outside town for promotional purposes. The guy is slick and knows there is a huge demand for doctoral and masters programs. Kind of reminds me of Arthur Dailey shows in the UK.
  6. Bill Huffman

    Bill Huffman Well-Known Member

    Akamai reminds me a little of MIGS, in that some aspects of it appear to be a very serious attempt at starting up a real school, yet other things about it are really scary.
  7. Mohd Ali

    Mohd Ali New Member

    Dr Capogrossi or any staffs of Akamai, please respond

    John Bear posted as below:

    Dr. Capogrossi (his Ph.D. is from Cornell) of Akamai just sent me a copy of his letter of great concern that he sent to an agent or representative in Malaysia, demanding to know what is going on.

    So, I just want to know what is the follow-up action from Dr Capogrossi apart from demanding to know what is going on. Actually, there are no change in the promotion material and activities here in Malaysia. The latest is using sms to promote the university with the emphasis on the listing in NCES.


    What about situation in Vietnam, does the Akamai agent there stop promoting the listing in UNES or remain the same?

    I remember many times, Dr Capogrossi and Akamai's staff responded to John Bear and this forum that they are showing concern about their agent in Asia and also the marketing and promotion activities but it seems thing is not change and every now and then, we heard about the misleading advertisement and promotion by their agents here. And the responde from Akamai and Dr Capogrossi are always the same:

    "We are concerned and are demanding to know what is happen."

    So, it is the agent fault or the university's responsibility of the repeat misleading acts by Akamai's agent??

    If those of you have good memory, you still remember the advertisment by their agent about their listing as Top 50 online university in USA. After the incident and the report in this forum by some concerned members, they finally stop. After few months, it is the listing in UNES. Why not Akamai and Dr Capogrossi takes prevention action by imposing stricter condition and monitoring to their agent here? But they just allow thing to happen one after another. Dr Capogrossi has visited Malaysia many times and I believe he is awared of what's going on here and the behaviour of his agent.

    So, Mr John Bear, please posted and let us know what is the follow-up action from Dr Capogrossi and Akamai University on this?

    Stevekurdin also reported that the agent here has full responsiblity on the academic matter and if the student here passed their requirements, they are assured of Akamai degree via 100% credit transfer. So, where is the control from Akamai in term of academic quality assurance?

    1. If Akamai wants to control the quality, is that mean that not 100% credit transfer? If so, the agent is again misled the student as they assure 100% credit transfer and guarantee teh degree from Akamai.

    2. If the agent is right that all student will get their degree via 100% credit transfer, the where and how the quality is controlled?

    Dr Capogrossi or any staffs of Akamai, please respond.
  8. John Bear

    John Bear Senior Member

    Message from the President of Akamai University

    Note: Dr. Douglass Capogrossi has been waiting several days for permission to post here, which has not yet come. He asked me to post the following for him.
    --John Bear
    From Douglass Capogrossi, Ph.D.
    President, Akamai University
    [email protected]

    I have been asked to respond to selected issues under discussion on this education forum and have agreed to do so in good faith. It is my hope and intention that this posting will clarify the discussion related to the actions and integrity of Akamai University in Asia.

    Target Audience
    In our Malaysia Business Programs, our target audience is mature business executives, not individuals new to the field of business administration. Therefore, the majority of our business students in Malaysia are senior executives and some are chief executives of major corporations and leaders in industry. This permits our students to be more highly reflective in the field of business and more able to contribute within the seminars and to prepare effective professional business reports and scholarly papers.

    Word of Mouth Referrals
    More than fifty percent of our students have been referred by existing students who were satisfied with our program. Many were referred by their employers or their managers. Still a sizable number have been recruited by contact without programs via demonstration seminars conducted tuition free at many sites across Malaysia.

    Free Trial Sessions
    Akamai does invite interested individuals to experience our business seminars prior to registration, to determine for themselves if our approach and the depth and quality of our programs can be of service to them in their professional development. This seems to us to be a professional and ethical approach an education institution, especially one that is unaccredited. Again, for the free trails, participants pay out of pocket for the hotel refreshment costs.

    Tuition Refund Policy
    Akamai has a sixty-day unconditional tuition refund policy. To date, we have enrolled a few more than 500 working executives, and none have requested a refund because they were unsatisfied with the quality delivery. We have refunded tuition to eight students that requested reimbursements due to the financial difficulties that arose after their enrollment.

    Speed of Completion
    Most of our Malaysia graduate students are well into their second year of study. In fact, a sizable portion of the participants that “walked” at the prior graduation continue to structure the “publishable quality” scholarly papers required for completion.

    Research Tutorials
    To assist our Malaysia students that experience difficulty bringing their course papers up to the expected quality, Akamai is better structuring a series of supplemental research tutorials. These tutorials are intended to guide the participants in locating scholarly resources, selecting effective materials, interpreting the research finding, integrating research into their course papers, properly citing and referencing the literature and effectively drawing conclusion within their own papers.

    Continuous Life-Long Learning
    We encourage our students and alumni to continuously refresh their knowledge by re-attending the various seminars without further charge. We do ask that these participants pay the hotel refreshment cost.

    Student Training Evaluations
    At the end of each instructional seminar, participants complete a Training Evaluation. Akamai continues to receive very high quality ratings from our participants.

    Quality of Faculty Instructors
    At the present time, approximately seventy percent of the instructors in our Malaysia business program hold earned graduate degrees in business from recognized universities. The remaining instructors are experienced trainers with many years experience in business, corporate management or consultancy.

    University Council of Advisors
    Akamai University appreciates the opportunity to address the forum. To those of you that have approached these matters with the seriousness they demand, we appreciate your advisement. In fact, we view all appropriate third-party commentary to be of value to the University in adjusting our systems and operations. Akamai has been building a voluntary University Council of Advisors. If your educational background and professional experience qualify you for university-level advisement, we would be very pleased to explore with you admittance to this Council.

    Quality Control Issues
    To oversee quality issues in the Malaysia business program, related to curriculum and instruction, Akamai has both in house and third party review systems in place. We rely upon top-level academics in business and economic development from the USA and Asia to guide the effectiveness of the curriculum and program delivery. We do not allow the program to function outside of a strict quality control system, which demands all new programs be inspected in detail before implementation. This goes for modifications to the curriculum, as well. As a follow-up control mechanism we pursue a random inspection of approved student papers by “third-party” academics that provide a detailed assessment of five essential areas of academic quality. These assessments are used by administration to guide further development of the program and its delivery.

    In-house Quality Reviews
    Akamai chief administrators visit the Malaysia business programs in operation two or three times per year at the very least. I will be traveling to Hanoi, Vietnam mid-May for quality reviews and meetings with faculty and administrators. I will certainly cover all of the main issues discussed on this forum and examine the facts related to the suspicions that you all have brought to light.

    Statement of Accreditation
    Recently Akamai University made essential upgrades to its webpages related to accreditation, recognition, memberships and affiliations. We have made a effort to clearly separate our statement of accreditation from any and all other issues. There should be no further confusion inherent in these pages. A few years back, I was involved in the structuring of the bill that modified the Hawaii statute HRS446E that governs unaccredited colleges in the state. In fact, I was fortunate to have the opportunity to author the wording of the required disclaimer that is required for all promotional materials that we issue anywhere in the world. We understand quite clearly our responsibility, perhaps more clearly that most other Hawaii colleges, being that we designed that part of the law. We have every intention to abide by the full spirit of the law, as well as any other laws that have jurisdiction over our activities. Should any reputable individual ever have concerns or questions for Akamai University, related to our organizational promotions, student recruitment procedures, or our statements online, I would be pleased to receive communications directly in that regard.

    Again, we hope to do all things right, to move steadily and surely toward international accreditation, and formal recognition, both within the USA and abroad. Thank you for this opportunity to address the forum.
  9. Bruce

    Bruce Moderator

    Dr. Capogrossi should now be able to post.
  10. decimon

    decimon Well-Known Member

    Capogrossi. Capograssi would tend to confirm the worst suspected of the fellow. :)
  11. Bruce

    Bruce Moderator

    Correction made. Late at night, my fingers tend to move quicker than my brain. :D
  12. stevekurdzin

    stevekurdzin New Member

    To Dr. Capogrosi

    Dr. Capogrosi will visit Hanoi, Vietnam mid of May. I do hope him to strongly review what his agents have been doing. I think he will correct all wrong things happening here instead of telling his people how to cope with the critical statements.

    A Vietnam agent let me know that there are some students who could complete the program within 7-8 months by fast-tracking. Because Akamai organize their program both in Hanoi & Hochiminh City. Two classes are progressing in parallel. Therefore, if someone like to shorten the time, he'd register for two classes and participate in two classes at the same time. This is very convenient for people who is travelling between two sites regularly. That means, within 1 month, Akamai students could complete two courses (6 credit hours). Think about their life: they got a job, have to work 8 hrs a day, even they got a familiy to care about. But, they could complete two courses within 1 month.
    Sorry for poking my nose in this deeply.

    The agent also said, approximately 60-70% of students complete the program successfully within 1 year. 90-95% of students complete the course within 18 months.

    Dr. Capograsi, regardless what you said, it is very hard for me to believe that your progaram is a serious post-graduate one leading to MBA degree. I have no objection if your program only grants certificate: Advance Business management Certificate for example; But if you call it a MBA program, it is hard to accept.
  13. tsling

    tsling New Member

    Another mill trying to deceive those naive and mostly ignorant Southeast Asians. Saw Akamai's very discreet ad in Newsweek many times.
  14. JimS

    JimS New Member

    Re: Message from the President of Akamai University

    More information regarding Akamai University at:

    "Question 1 of the interview with Dr. Douglass Capogrossi"
  15. Bruce

    Bruce Moderator

    I'll once again mention that Dr. Capogrossi is able to post to this site, and has been for many days now.
  16. Mohd Ali

    Mohd Ali New Member

    Since Dr Capogrosi replied to John Bear that he and the university are doing the best to maintain the integrity and quality of their program, i thought it is good. However, when I read about what stevekurdzin has posted about the fast-tracking and the completion of degree within one year, my doubts of Dr Capogrosi's ability to control his agents raises again.

    Can Dr Capogrosi control his agent or may be he is part of them???

    Dr Capogrosi said in his reply to John Bear that Akamai has more than 600 students in Malaysia and all of them are attending the so call executive development seminar, the students are from high profile group with position of CEO, Manager and Executive. I do a search on their agent here and notice that this agent was also the agent of Commonwealth Open University of BVI, a diploma mill operated from Spain. The agent is actually a private limted company and it is not an academy or college of higher learning, thus MOE of Malaysia does not has any approval on them to conduct ant MBA class here.

    As what posted by Stevekurdin, both the akamai's agent in Malaysia and VN hold a PHD and/or MBA from unaccredited university, I doubt this people can follow what Dr Capogrosi stated in his reply to John Bear? If Dr Capogrosi is sincere in maintining the quality of Akamai's program and the integrity of the university, why not he find a better partner??

    There are many colleges in Malaysia that approved by MOE and operated under the governance of the guide-line in recruiting, delivery and examination. I don't know about VN.

    So, we are now waiting for the next move by Dr Capogrosi, will he choose a better and repuatable partner in Asia or he prefers the partner that will associate him with the diploma mills.
  17. stevekurdzin

    stevekurdzin New Member

    At present the current Vietnam law has not regulated the distance learning service offering by a foreign education institution. Because this type of non-tradition is quite new with Vietnam so the suitable law has not been issued yet. (But some local universities has provided the distance learning program for Vietnamese up to now. Of course they must have the approval from MoE).

    However, fundamentally, any institution who like to provide such a service must obtain the license from Vietnam MoE. Head of post-graduate education department, MoE stated: " any university who like to provide the post graduate program must submit its application to the MoE. After reviewing the case, MoE will submit the application together with MoE's recommendation to the Prime Minister for his further decision". This statement is quoted from an article in local newspaper regarding American Capital University illegal activities in Vietnam. I am sorry that this article is only in Vietnamese. So I could not indicate the link to all of you.

    I don't think that Akamai did obtain such a approval/ license from MoE.
  18. uncle janko

    uncle janko member

    One gets the impression from our honourable posters that if one wants to do business in certain southeastern Asian countries the local "agents" are routinely persons of less than wonderful character. How may an American school--let us grant the best of intentions, at least for the sake of the question--find an honest man in such quarters to be its representatives? This problem seems to recur frequently, if memory serves.

    Is sending a US national the only reliable way to obtain ethical representation in certain countries? One hopes not, one surely hopes not, but this discussion has many echoes of the past.
  19. BillDayson

    BillDayson New Member

    I expect that the United States creates the same impression over there, Unk, with its phony accreditors, spurious 'credential evaluators' and extremely misleading 'state approvals'. Asia is the most fertile field for American scams.

    The first thing might be for the Americans to stop thinking of what they are doing as a money-making opportunity and to start actually thinking of it as higher education. That would mean collaborating with local educators and researchers, not with businessmen who present lucrative proposals.

    How do you recognize actual educators and researchers? Probably by looking at people's past work and at their professional reputations in their home countries.

    I don't think that the problem is the countries. The US has 'less than wonderfuls' and their proprietors as well. But it's obviously true: unfamiliar educational systems and language difficulties (often artfully exploited, as with Robert de Sorbon) present difficulties when collaborating abroad.

    My opinion is that if a school is unable to effectively manage or even to understand what's happening in a foreign country, then it has no business operating through semi-autonomous affiliates there.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 9, 2005
  20. Mohd Ali

    Mohd Ali New Member

    "Is sending a US national the only reliable way to obtain ethical representation in certain countries?"

    The answer to uncle janko is "NO". Many colleges in Malaysia are representing american universities and they are not creating any issues or problems to their US partners.

    E.g. Upper Iowa University is offering their BBA here and approved by MOE because they work with one of the approved college here. Andrew Jackson is offering their MBA via a group of colleges ib distance learning mode and Northwood University is offering American degree program via credit transfer. All running fine.

    So, it is the partner or agent that you choose. American universities always have the alternative.

    Please don't think that all agents in SEA are non-ethical.

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