You know a university is shady when even a dog can get a Master’s degree. Yes, you heard right – in order to unmask the American University of London (AUOL), BBC Newsnight had Pete the dog apply for an MBA at the American University of London (AUOL). After paying £4,500, the furry “management consultant” actually received his degree.
AUOL is a bogus university which prays on the naivete of people who want to bulk up their resume in preparation for that executive dream-job interview. The so-called educational institution offers distance learning courses that, according to their website, “have been designed to the most exacting standards, in accordance with the most stringent criteria, in order to provide outstanding education at an affordable price.” AUOL then issues corresponding degrees and post-graduate qualifications in business, IT, law, education and liberal arts, humanities and English. Newsnight managed to uncover AUOL’s fraudulent money-making business by setting up a fake identity and CV for the lovely hound Pete. Thus, Peter Smith was born, a management consultant from South London with an undergraduate degree from a real UK University. After e-mailing them his CV and paying £50 – the mandatory application fee, Peter was asked to provide the institution photocopies of his previous qualifications and a photograph of himself. Of course, Pete did not oblige as his resume was made-up and his long dog face could not pass as a real man. Nonetheless, four days later, Pete received a message from AUOL stating that his application for a degree had been processed and that in two weeks he was going to be registered as an MBA graduate. All he had to do was to provide them with £4,500.