This is essential viewing. Available for a few days more on BBC iPlayer, this Week In Week Out investigation shows how the University of Wales validates a huge range of colleges, both in the UK and abroad, to provides its degrees. These colleges range from offering evangelical christian courses to bonkers alternative medicine. You can see contributions from AC Grayling and David Colquhoun. The University has created a huge business, gaining lots of fees, from underwiting the ‘quality’ of courses offered by people with bogus doctrorates and dodgy academic practices.
I would say that the BBC Team did not need to spend so much time in Malaysia or Barcelona to find dodgy examples. I have written about how the University of Wales underwrites the dodgy claims of McTimoney chiropractors here in Oxfordshire. But I guess the BBC team found the street food of Kuala Lumpur and the Tapas of Barcelona a little bit better than the kebab van in Abingdon.
I hope there will be more coming out regarding the chiropractor college. This situation is not just about poor quality academic courses. Because the University is essentially outsourcing the teaching of its degrees to all and sundry, the protection that students might get at a regular university is not necessarily offered to those at the private college. If something goes wrong such as you are unsatisfied with the quality of the course, have been bullied or even ripped off you may not have recourse to the same protections offered to other students. You may have paid tens of thousands of pounds to such a college. Unhappy, and there is not much you can do.
So, here are my concerns about the University of Wales and the McTimoney college: