We’ve had the frustrating situation of re-looking at the American University of London over the past couple of weeks after another complaint about them to the government. We are still not being able to pursue them through Trading Standards nor through the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau as a bogus university, on a technicality.
They are very careful how they word their websites, how they register themselves in the UK (avoiding the word ‘university’ and using the acronym AUOL Online Ltd) and maintaining only a mailing address in London in the name of their licensee. American University of London Inc is registered in the West Indies, where UK laws can’t touch them.
However, tuition fees are paid into a UK bank in Beaconsfield, home to the university President Michael Nimier and Registrar Sonia Grimes. Although it now offers a mobile number and 0800 number for contact on the main website, one of their old domains for the website http://www.americanuniversity.com still carries the Beaconsfield phone number they were using.
If you remember, they were the subject of the Newsnight investigation in 2013. You can see the BBC report here and watch the video of the reporter getting Pete the dog his MBA. My angry open letter to Jeremy Paxman is here on the blog too. (I was more than a little cross)
It seems all we can do is keep highlighting the fact that they are NOTHING TO DO WITH the University of London, who hold the trademarks to that name. They DO NOT have the power to award recognised UK degrees and DO give out MBAs for money to any man and his dog – literally.
Let’s hope any innocent would-be students see this post on their Google results ahead of parting with £50 to apply for a course, or four figure sums for an unrecognised degree.
For the fraudsters happy to buy degrees, let’s hope employers see this post or check your ‘qualifications’ on HEDD before offering you that job.
Failing that we’ll set Pete on them.