A 36-year-old man who worked in interior design paid for a master’s programme only to discover that it was not recognised by the Malaysian Qualification Agency (MQA).
Diploma holder Nathan (not his real name) had decided to further his studies at a local institution in Penang after working for more than 10 years.
He was pleasantly surprised when the institution said he could work for an “internationally-recognised” masters degree due to the number of years he had worked. He religiously attended the classes where he was given “one-on-one” sessions with a lecturer, and followed the programme online.
However, he began to get suspicious five months later when he noticed that there was no signature of the dean at the bottom of his “academic transcript”. “When I brought this up, the institution said it was a computer-generated report, thus no signature was required,” he told The Star.
Nathan decided to check with the Higher Education Ministry on the validity of the institution and the programme. To his horror, just after paying RM11,000 for his second semester, the ministry told him that it was not a registered private institution of higher learning.
The “programme manager” of the institution then e-mailed Nathan about the closure of the institution and that it would be relocated to Petaling Jaya.
Nathan said he was duped into believing that he was doing an authentic masters degree that was jointly offered by the local institution and a British university when he signed up for the programme in 2007.
“I had already paid about RM38,000 for fees, books and research facilities before finding out that it was not a recognised degree,” said Nathan.