Two Ghanaian professors from the Valdosta State University in USA recently undertook investigations into how some prominent Ghanaians earn Honorary Doctorate degrees and concluded that many of the private universities dishing out the degrees were unaccredited.
The report, initially published by Pulse.com.gh drew conclusions on extensive investigations and gave an alarming list of tertiary institutions and names of prominent Ghanaians who got their degrees from some of these “unaccredited schools.”
Following from that there have been debates on how those degrees are earned and especially on social media, many have been mocking some of the personalities for going ahead to receive the honorary degrees from unaccredited universities.
$4000 for doctorate
Ms Mabel Aku Baneseh of Daily Graphic and the Ghana Journalist Association 2014 Journalist of the Year recently received a letter from the London Graduate School (www.LondonGS.co.uk) inviting her to attend a two-day top executive seminar and to receive an Honorary Doctorate Degree, to be conferred on her by the Commonwealth University www.cub-edu.com).
In return, the letter requested her to pay a fee of $4,000 (Ghc15,600) to cover tuition, course materials, a Master Class Certificate, lunch and snacks during the sessions at the MJ Grand Hotel in East Legon, Accra just for the two-day event.
The letter indicated that the seminar was being organised to enable leaders and professionals of the calibre of Ms Baneseh to meet and exchange ideas and perspectives to make leaders better in what they do.
When Graphic Online contacted the London Graduate School to inquire if Ms Baneseh could still go ahead and receive the honours should she fail to pay the fees for the two-day seminar, the school responded in the negative.
Rather, it explained that the seminar and the honorary degree go together as a package which cannot be separated.
Responding to the nomination, Ms Aku Baneseh told Graphic Online that she was not ready to part with $4,000 just to earn an Honorary Doctorate.
According to her, she was aware people go through rigorous academic work to earn a Doctorate and was not ready to receive one on a "silver platter".
The London Graduate School proudly defends the action in the following manner: “In the past 10 years, the London Graduate School has partnered with the Commonwealth University and the Commonwealth Academy of Leadership and Management to add value to directors, managers, entrepreneurs and professionals in their important task of leading and managing.”
“We are proud to announce that one of the private universities in West Africa – Ecole Superieure Universitaire Cotonou has joined forces with the alliance. This will definitely make this consortium stronger and more effective to serve you,” the letter to Ms Baneseh indicated.
It added, “As part of the activities lined up to celebrate and challenge leaders like you [Baneseh], the Commonwealth University has selected few leaders to receive the Honorary Doctorate Degree. You are among the persons selected in recognition of your achievements and contributions.”
Checks on the websites of the two schools, London Graduate School and the said Commonwealth University indicated that they had the same addresses at 9 Offord Close, London, N 17 OTE.