By Andrea Fernandes
GEORGETOWN, Guyana -- The largest selling English language daily newspaper in the world, the Times of India
, has reported that another Indian-owned offshore university located in Guyana has been defrauding international students, seemingly with the blessing of Guyana’s National Accreditation Council (NAC).
The American International School of Medicine (AISM), which is operating out of Guyana with a makeshift branch in Coimbatore, India, had claimed that its degrees are recognized because it is registered with the NAC and the World Health Organization.
However, the World Health Organization has stated in an email response that such a claim is fraudulent and untrue, while the Times of India had found that the degrees that are issued by the institution are useless.
Authorities in India and South Africa have since suggested that the mere issuance of the degrees to their citizens by the Guyana-based university is an act of international money laundering and fraud.
They questioned the wisdom of the Guyanese authorities, who are apparently allowing these kinds of universities to operate in their country without due diligence.
An editorial staff member at the Times of India
who had also investigated the story told the Guyana Guardian
that many of the affected students in India and their parents are blaming the lax policies of Guyana’s NAC since many of these questionable universities were easily able to defraud the students based upon the NAC’s supposed accreditation or alleged endorsement (via their website) of AISM’s degrees.
The investigative article on the AISM was published after the Times of India
had agreed to lend its journalism support to an ongoing investigation by the Guyana Guardian
into several Indian-operated “degree mills” that have been operating in Guyana and the Caribbean.
At least five senior reporters and contributors from the Guyana Guardian
, the Huffington Post, Al Jazeera
, and the Times of India
had agreed to assist each other in their collective investigation of many of these offshore universities.
The investigations, which are still ongoing, have since yielded a dossier of embarrassing undercover information that the consortium of journalists intends to hand over to the US Federal Bureau of Investigations, after airing a related documentary on their findings in the second quarter of 2017.
The Guyana Guardian
has been at the forefront of the investigations in Guyana and has so far published a number of articles on the subject matter, which initially focused on the Texila American University and the NAC.
Texila American University threatened to file a lawsuit against the Guyana Guardian
, and at least one local education official, Vincent Alexander, sought to defend its operations in Guyana via a letter in the Stabroek News
(a local private newspaper), in which he claimed that the Guardian’s
articles were defamatory.
To date, no such lawsuit has been filed, even though the Guyana Guardian
challenged Texila to do so.
Apart from Texila American University, and the American International School of Medicine (AISM), the international media is currently investigating the operations of several others, including the Georgetown American University, Greenheart Medical University, Rajiv Gandhi University of Science and Technology, and Alexander University, which are all offshore universities that were established by various Indian citizens, who are doing business in Guyana.
Alexander University reportedly operates out of the Buddy’s Night Club on Sheriff Street, while the others function out of rented properties.
Republished with permission of the Guyana Guardian