‘Fake’ Degree Granting Institution Exposed

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The ‘university’ is located in the courtyard .jpg

In an effort to streamline (update, reorganize) Liberia’s post-war ‘messy education’ sector, the National Commission on Higher Education (NCHE) has embarked on a vigorous exercise by inspecting the sector’s higher divisions across the country.

During one of their routine exercises on Monday, NCHE deputy director-general, Dr. Kadiker Rex Dahn, and the Commission’s director for monitoring and evaluation (M&E), S. Reginald Mehnpaine, uncovered what was observed as an established ‘fake degree granting institution’ in the country.

Interestingly, the ‘fake university’ is being administered by one ‘Dr.’ Austin Okafor, president and founder, who has in his employ, a fake doctorate degree-holder, Ndien Peters as one of the professors.

NCHE recently booked the ‘terminal degree holder,’ Peters with fake academic credentials at the St. Clements University while serving as the vice president of academic affairs, thus prompting the Commission to close it down. 

The CUSWORTH International Business School (C.I.B.S.) Liberia had reportedly begun operating in the country about four years ago, at the corner of 20th Street and Coleman Avenue, in the Fiama Community. It is located in the courtyard of Global Trust Insurance Company.

The institution’s bulletin claimed that it is an affiliate of several universities around the world including the South African-based, Anointed University located in the City of Johannesburg, and some locally-based tertiary institutions.

It also claimed that in Liberia, it is being accredited by authorities at the Ministry of Education (MOE), but interestingly, the so-called accreditation was reportedly approved by the Ministry’s Bureau of Insurance—which is not consistent with the accreditation processes in Liberia.

Both the claims have been vehemently denied and protested by authorities of the MOE and NCHE respectively. As a result, the two institutions have cited C.I.B.S.’s self-proclaimed administration to make itself available for questioning.

MOE director of communications, J. Maxime Bletahn told this paper via mobile phone late Monday, that the Ministry’s Bureau of Insurance does not accredit schools; instead, it deals with the documentation of deceased personnel including teachers.

The two officials from the NCHE (Dr. Dahn and Mr. Mehnpaine) promised to investigate as to how the C.I.B.S (university) was established. Their pending investigation, according to them, will involve personnel from the Ministry of Justice and other stakeholders. 

The ‘fake degree granting university,’ according to the Daily Observer’s investigation has a college of insurance, and also offers courses in business management/strategic studies; economics, finance, investment and banking; accounting, marketing, entrepreneurship studies, computer networking, engineering, etc.

C.I.B.S. also graduates students with diplomas, Bachelor of Science (B.Sc.) bachelor of business administration (BBA) and master of business administration (MBA) in insurance and risk management, management, marketing, and computer engineering.

Meanwhile, CIBS has announced in its recent bulletin that admission for 2013/2014 is in progress, while clearances are being processed for a pending Commencement Convocation.

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