Two Ghanaian professors from the Valdosta State University in USA recently undertook investigations into how some prominent Ghanaians earn Honorary Doctorate degrees and concluded that many of the private universities dishing out the degrees were unaccredited.
Ms Mabel Aku Baneseh of Daily Graphic and the Ghana Journalist Association 2014 Journalist of the Year recently received a letter from the London Graduate School (www.LondonGS.co.uk) inviting her to attend a two-day top executive seminar and to receive an Honorary Doctorate Degree, to be conferred on her by the Commonwealth University (www.cub-edu.com).
In return, the letter requested her to pay a fee of $4,000 (Ghc15,600) to cover tuition, course materials, a Master Class Certificate, lunch and snacks during the sessions at the MJ Grand Hotel in East Legon, Accra just for the two-day event.
The letter indicated that the seminar was being organised to enable leaders and professionals of the calibre of Ms Baneseh to meet and exchange ideas and perspectives to make leaders better in what they do.
When Graphic Online contacted the London Graduate School to inquire if Ms Baneseh could still go ahead and receive the honours should she fail to pay the fees for the two-day seminar, the school responded in the negative.
Rather, it explained that the seminar and the honorary degree go together as a package which cannot be separated.
Responding to the nomination, Ms Aku Baneseh told Graphic Online that she was not ready to part with $4,000 just to earn an Honorary Doctorate.
According to her, she was aware people go through rigorous academic work to earn a Doctorate and was not ready to receive one on a “silver platter”.
The London Graduate School proudly defends the action in the following manner: In the past 10 years, the London Graduate School has partnered with the Commonwealth University and the Commonwealth Academy of Leadership and Management to add value to directors, managers, entrepreneurs and professionals in their important task of leading and managing.”
“We are proud to announce that one of the private universities in West Africa – Ecole Superieure Universitaire Cotonou has joined forces with the alliance. This will definitely make this consortium stronger and more effective to serve you,” the letter to Ms Baneseh indicated.
It added, “As part of the activities lined up to celebrate and challenge leaders like you [Baneseh], the Commonwealth University has selected few leaders to receive the Honorary Doctorate Degree. You are among the persons selected in recognition of your achievements and contributions.”
Checks on the websites of the two schools, London Graduate School and the said Commonwealth University indicated that they had the same addresses at 9 Offord Close, London, N 17 OTE.
Here are some of the individuals who have purportedly gotten degrees from questionable Universities in the U.S according to research work of the two professors:
Dr. Hassan Ayariga- Atlantic International University, Hawaii (Not Accredited by OPE, listed as unaccredited by the National Accreditation Board, Faced Consumer Protection law suit for being unaccredited.)
(Dr.) Sherry Ayittey, (Dr.) Kofi Portuphy, (Dr.) Gilbert Abeiku Aggrey, (Dr.) Gifty Anti, (Dr.) Bernard Otabil, (Dr.) John Kudalor (IGP), (Dr.) Kwasi Appiah – Dayspring Christian University and Affiliates (Discredited by NAB on September 18, 2014.
Other names in the Valdosta State University’s report include:
Aquinas Tawiah Quansah (B.A.) – Almeda College/University ( Unaccredited by the OPE, Boast Council for Distance Education, Interfaith Education Ministry & Association for Online Academic Excellence accreditations, Folded up.
Dzifa Aku Ativor (BS.c. & M.A.) – American Century University (Unaccredited by the OPE, Classified diploma mill [Foreign Credits International Experts, 2013]).
Bernice Adiku Heloo (Dr.) – European-American University (A corporate charter granted by Commonwealth of Dominica, Royal Charter HM Omukama of Bunyoro-Kitara of Uganda, Royal Charter HRH, Chief of Gomoa Nyanyano)
(Dr.) Patrick Kobla Agboba or HRM Hon. (Dr.) Togbui Sri III – ( Not listed among recognized bodies in the UK, A non-existent institution.)
Dr.) Theophilus Tay (aka Theophilus Worgbale) – University of Dublin & University of California (University of California exists, and is accredited. However, the individual is not associated with University of Dublin, California is an unaccredited diploma mill).
Below is a copy of the invitation letter