The Chartered Management Institute’s (CMI) chief executive has been conned into handing out degrees for a fake university, according to a national newspaper.
Mary Chapman, leading businesswoman and the first chief executive of Investors in People UK, was tricked into distributing worthless degree certificates to students at a ‘graduation ceremony’ in Oxford, for the Irish International University – neither Irish nor a university.
The Times reported the bogus institution encourages overseas students to spend thousands of pounds coming to Britain to study for qualifications. Its website displayed that its main campus was in Dublin, yet the address led to a mailbox.
Despite all universities in Ireland needing to be endorsed by the education ministry, a loophole in Irish law allows businesses to register names with ‘university’ in their titles.
The CMI said Chapman attended the ceremony in good faith, and has now “severed all links” with the company.
Hardeep Singh Sandhu, executive president of the university’s governing council, told the newspaper that the university had never claimed to be accredited in Britain, but he would be happy for it to be inspected.
References to a Dublin campus have now been removed from its website.