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East End college fined for handing out fake degrees

PUBLISHED: 07:00 17 February 2010 | UPDATED: 15:36 05 October 2010

A PRIVATE college in London's East End accused of duping students with fake degrees has been fined £17,000. St Paul's College in Whitechapel has been convicted by magistrates of offering degrees from unrecognised institutions

By Mike Brooke

A PRIVATE college in London’s East End accused of duping students with fake degrees has been fined more than £17,000.

The business registered as St Paul’s College of Higher Education Limited in Whitechapel has been convicted by Thames magistrates of offering degrees from unrecognised institutions, under the 2008 Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations.

The college, operating from offices at 154 Cannon Street Road, touted degrees from unrecognised institutions such as the Barbican University’ registered in Panama that wasn’t even recognised in Panama, the court heard.

Other dodgy degrees were from the Irish International University’ in Malaysia, not recognised by the Malaysian authorities, and Columbia Commonwealth University’ which claims to hold recognition in the USA, but was not accredited nationally or regionally.

St Paul’s College did not make plain that the degrees awarded would not be accepted in the UK as legitimate educational awards when it offered these courses to potential students, Tower Hamlets council trading standards prosecutors told the court.

A Town Hall spokesman said after the hearing: “We are cracking down on places offering fake accreditations. Students have lost money in good faith.”

St Paul’s College was found guilty of offering unrecognised degrees and fined £5,000 each on three offences, plus £2,500 costs and £15 victim surcharge, all to be paid within 28 days.

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