Bogus degree academy deregistered

A tertiary education provider has been deregistered by the NZ Qualifications Authority after an undercover reporter revealed it was selling fraudulent degrees.

An episode of the TV2 show Illegal NZ, which aired on August 20, showed two representatives from the New Zealand Academy of Studies selling a Diploma of Business Qualification for $12,000.

The two Chinese men initially turned the reporter away as they did not want to involve a European in the scam.

But they were happy to give the reporter's Chinese accomplice a "diploma".

It came with Qualifications Authority backing, and potential employers could verify the "student" through the authority's s website, despite the person not having completed any course work.

In a statement yesterday, the authority said it had investigated the Academy of Studies after seeing the programme and was "no longer satisfied that NZAS was a suitable body to be registered".

"NZAS has ceased to operate as a training provider and all affected students have been provided with access to alternative providers to continue their studies," the authority said.

The authority's deputy chief executive for quality assurance, Tim Fowler, said: "The vast majority of providers are delivering quality education outcomes for students, but it is important that the industry is aware that any evidence of inappropriate, or fraudulent, activity by training establishments will result in strong action by NZQA."

The academy's website was operating yesterday, offering courses.

- NZPA

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