Can a dog get an MBA? Yes, actually

by Cameron Edmond25 Oct 2013

There are some who would say University is easier now than it ever was. To that, I say there is nothing easy about student debt, but it seems in some cases the naysayers might be right.

The American University of London (AUOL) offers distance learning degrees in business, IT, law, education, arts, and more to over 100,000 students worldwide – in fact, BBC Newsnight found hundreds of senior executives wearing their AUOL qualifications with pride.

While all of these executives stated they studied for their degrees, it turns out there is at least one glaring exception. In news that has sent howls of derision (sorry) across the world, it turns out even a dog can obtain an MBA.

BBC put together an application for Pete, a dog living at Battersea Dogs’ Home. ‘Peter Smith’ was a management consultant living in South London, with 15 years of work experience and an undergraduate degree from a UK university. These details were chronicled in a one-page fake CV that was sent along with an application for an MBA and the £50 application fee.

Despite omitting photocopies of qualifications and a photo of the applicant, Newsnight was informed four days later that due to his past experience, Pete would be getting his MBA so long as he sent along another £4,500.

AUOL is one of many organisations selling bogus degrees, although the institution denies this is the case. The university has been blacklisted in a number of US states, and after giving an MBA to a dog, it is likely this blacklist will extend across the world.

While humorous, it does drive home the necessity to double-check all qualifications on a CV, regardless of what country it was obtained in. Many senior executives wear their AUOL degrees with pride, how likely is it a few with similar qualifications have slipped through in Australia?

Watch Newsnight’s investigation unfold here.