It’s another day and it’s another scandal regarding a private school in Singapore. For overseas readers of my blog, Brookes Business School was recently closed as it has been (along with Stamford Global Learning Centre) offering fake degrees from well-known schools such as the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT).
Nothing unusual about this; this is Singapore, and over here it happen more often than we like. Despite the losses of the students who had paid for their courses already, and former graduates of the school who are now holding fake, useless degrees, it’s not even big news here. No one in Singapore is really surprise at this scandal but what I find incomprehensible is the fact that Australia’s RMIT knew about the problem long ago and had even written to Singapore’s Ministry of Education (MOE) in April 2007 to complain about Brookes Business School.
The MOE knew about the problems in April 2007 but never stop the school from offering the courses.
I have to ask why? Its one thing if you don’t know about the problem and the thing blow up in your face but the MOE know of it for 2 years and did nothing? Senior Minister of State for Education S Iswaran said in a written parliamentary statement that 2 months after RMIT alerted Singapore authorities to the suspicious nature of the Brookes Business School in April 2007, the Education Ministry gave Brookes a warning for carrying misleading information on its website and other publicity materials. HA! What’s the use of a warning when it was pretty clear that the degrees and courses were faked! RMIT alerted you themselves on the matter. If the MOE had taken action 2 years ago, instead of issuing a useless warning, hundreds of students today would not be facing the job market with a fake degree.
What is the MOE going to say to these students now? Not only did the MOE not take action against Brookes, Brookes is even registered as a school with the MOE and had Casetrust accreditation from the Consumers Association of Singapore (CASE). In case anyone wants to know, Casetrust-endorsed schools are schools who are suppose to have good student welfare/protection practices and standards, such as clear fee policies, well-defined student redress practices and systems, a declared commitment to quality, and well-trained personnel.
So not only did MOE not take action against Brookes, Brookes Business School was endorsed by various Singapore government agencies. I don’t know whether to laugh or cry at this. If anyone thought the EDB/UNSW saga 2 years ago (which cost Singapore about $15 million) was stupid, this Brookes case is downright ridiculous. At least the Singapore Economic Development Board (EDB) was trying to get a business to come to Singapore, what was the MOE doing?
Hopefully, Singaporeans can get some answer to that!