When we ended our investigative piece on IIPM last month, we were hoping for a response from IIPM disputing our story. We were prepared, armed with all information(some of which we published) if we were hauled up. The lack of response proves that IIPM has nothing to contest. However, there was a response, through double page ads in media.
One of the many false claims by IIPM, that we exposed in the last issue of Careers360 (www.careers360.com), was about the BBA/MBA degrees on offer. The degrees awarded by IIPM in collaboration with IMI Belgium were in fact unrecognized. Even after the expose IIPM continued to use IMI, Belgium. As recent as 15th June, an ad released in the Times of India mentioned the IMI degrees on offer.
On 18 June, post our exposÃ©, we saw an ad in the Times of India and Hindustan Times, where the BBA/MBA degree was now being offered from Buckingham Business School (University of Buckingham) and no longer from IMI Belgium. Aware of the past history of the claims made by IIPM, we sent a mail to the University of Buckingham to verify this new claim. The response from the University of Buckingham left us despairing (see the mail above). The University of Buckingham''''s response implies that:
1. The university of Buckingham hasn''t consented to the advertisements (and the claims made in it).
2.That no such consent would be forthcoming until their programmes (IIPM''s programmes) are formally accredited under the QAA guidelines.
3.That no such arrangement exists as on date.
The QAA in UK is similar to National Board of Accreditation (NBA) in India. IIPM''s programmes are not accredited by NBA. We wonder, how IIPM would submit its programmes to QAA when they have refused to do the same with NBA.
So as we file this story, the students are not guaranteed of a University of Buckingham degree. We have called up the Vice- Chancellor''s office of University of Buckingham on 23rd June and written to him on the 24th of June(After the response from their PR department''s denial of relationship as on date on the 21st of June) but haven''t recieved any response from his office.
However, we are at a loss to deal with the brazenness of these claims each bigger than the other. Is there a way to discourage such institutes from making these false claims in the name of great education? Would Mr.Kapil Sibal, the current HRD minister and one of the best lawyers of India, take an active interest to bring in some transparency to prevent any institutes'' taking students for a ride? Can the regulators, government and judiciary impose certain accountability for such claims on all institutes? Or would this be another investigation that bites the dust for want of follow up and regulatory action? We have done our job. It is over to you Mr.Sibal.
Dear readers, we greatly value your suggestions, so visit us at (www.careers360.com) and give us your comments. If you need to maintain confidentiality, in a mail to the editor, at [email protected].
NOTE: Readers may look for the counter view of IIPM, if received. We would also carry any response received from the Vice-Chancellors'' office of University of Buckingham.