“Unaccredited foreign universities to be fined”


unaccredited-degreeNo, not in the USA, unfortunately, but in Kenya.  This is a textbook example of how one country can learn from another in the finest tradition of comparative education in particular and comparative studies in general.  In this case, Kenya and the US have a teacher-student relationship.   

Shut down the unaccredited education companies (or for-profit enterprises masquerading as nonprofits) and put the money from the fines into a fund to be used for international educational exchange rather than frittered away on one of the less worthwhile activities in which the US government is involved (e.g., Iraq, Afghanistan, interest on the national debt, etc.)  Do good and do well! 

In fact, why not link the fine to the US per capita income (PCI)?  Since it’s about 28 times that of Kenya, the fine should be $3.25 million per offending institution.  In doing so, the US could shed its well-deserved reputation as the world’s leading sanctuary for rogue providers and use some of those ill-gotten gains for a good cause. 

Here’s the blurb from University World News, which contains a link to the original article for those who are REALLY interested. 

Foreign universities offering degrees in Kenya without accreditation will be fined at least KSh10 million (US$116,000) and their promoters sent to jail for three years under a new law meant to safeguard education standards, writes Edwin Mutai for Business Daily.
 
President Mwai Kibaki last week assented to the Universities Bill 2012, which provides for regulation of universities and centralised admission of students to tertiary institutions. It also establishes the Commission on University Education (CUE) to replace the Commission on Higher Education in overseeing university standards.
 
Foreign universities are required to submit proof of accreditation from their countries of origin before they are allowed to offer degrees in Kenya. On the other hand, local universities will be required to state what their core courses are, in addition to supporting infrastructure, before a charter is granted. 

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9 Comments on ““Unaccredited foreign universities to be fined””

  1. Tri Tran Says:

    Dear Author,

    Whether a school decides to go 501C3 or not does not affect the quality of the program. The president of a 501C3 can extract bonuses just like how a private company earns dividends, There’s nothing wrong with being private non 501C3. People get paid all the same.

    –Tri

    • maavn Says:

      Thanks for your comment. That’s precisely my point. It’s the accreditation status that matters.

      MAA

      • Tri Says:

        Yes, but accreditation takes time, no matter how talented your team is. Also, some of the regulations posed by regional accreditation agencies that cater to state unions do not apply to private schools operating outside the USA.

      • maavn Says:

        I’m referring to schools operating in the US.

  2. Soren Kirchner Says:

    Uh…the US government does not accredit Unis. They are accredited by a cartel of private UNis and the accred process is all about Money. I wanted to start a Uni in Florida and the only way to get even national (DETC) accrd. is to have happy graduates for X years. How does one recruit students for a program whih no approval from the accred. cartel? So you see, it is a closed rigged game and all about money.

    • Tri Says:

      Hi Soren, I remember you telling me this at the Melia in Hanoi. They got to get paid baby!! But seriously, the best accreditors of high schools are colleges and the best accreditors for colleges are employers I think.

      • maavn Says:

        Of course, they gotta get paid, baby, ’cause that’s what pays the bills. :-) (As I mention here and as you probably know, most of the work is done by volunteers.) About colleges as accreditors of high schools… That’s problematic, to say the least, given that US high schools are locally controlled and funded, which means it helps if Mommy and Daddy are people of means and live in a high SES (socio-economic status) community. The bottom line – some young Americans get a better education than others. So much for the much-vaunted American Dream.

        Employers from the public, private and non-profit sectors are important stakeholders but are hardly the “best accreditors” of colleges because their interests are narrowly defined. Preparing graduates for the world of work is not the only task with which institutions of higher education are charged.

        MAA

    • maavn Says:

      Soren – You know that I know that. :-) There is something called the US Congress, however, that has been known to pass the occasional law. Therefore, the USG could theoretically shut down diploma mills, the worst incarnation of unaccredited schools, also known as rogue providers. (I love that description – so spot-on.)

      Money for whom? Of course, they need money to cover their expenses and it’s the institutions that have to pay. The peer review work, the centerpiece of accreditation, is carried out by volunteer faculty and administrators.

      About accreditation for new schools – I agree that it’s a bit of a catch-22 situation but disagree that it’s “all about money,” except maybe for some DETC and ACICS-accredited institutions that are for-profit entities.

      MAA


      • I have taught in regionally accredited , AASCB accred, Nationally accredited and Non-accred programs. Same teacher, same learning outcomes, but diffrent diploma paper and different price. Accreditation is a cartel, a private group of players who keep the supply small, under the guise of “quality”. It is a cartel and a racket.
        Soren


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