Singapore college claiming UK links is ordered to stop

Coventry, Napier and Uclan say they have no ties with private business institute. John Gill reports

February 19, 2009

A private college in Singapore that claims to have links with three UK universities has been ordered to erase references to the institutions from its publicity material.

The Lincoln School of Management claimed ties with Coventry University, Napier University and the University of Central Lancashire.

When contacted by Times Higher Education, however, all three denied that the links existed. The universities have asked the college to remove the claims.

At Coventry, a spokeswoman said the university was seeking legal advice to get Lincoln, which has no links to the University of Lincoln, to remove a claim that it has been awarded accreditation and credit exemptions by Coventry. Its website says: "(Coventry) will now accept our Advanced Diploma graduates into Coventry's final-year bachelor of arts in business management."

David Pilsbury, pro vice-chancellor for international development at the university, said: "There is no link between Coventry and Lincoln School of Management. An initial conversation took place at a hotel where two Coventry faculty members were staying, at the suggestion of an individual working for one of our established partners.

"However, it was quickly concluded that there was no basis for partnership - there is no credit recognition of their programmes and no curriculum match."

Uclan was also in the dark about the claims made by the school, which is believed to recruit most of its students from China, Vietnam and Indonesia.

In a statement, Uclan says: "The university does not have, and has never had, any form of franchise arrangement or articulation agreement with the Lincoln School of Management in Singapore.

"The university has not received any applications from students holding qualifications from (it) to date and is not expecting any."

Napier said the "articulation agreement" that Lincoln claimed to have with it did not exist, and that it would be contacting the college immediately to complain about the claims.

The college, which also advertises links with universities in America and Australia, charges fees of about $19,000 (£13,300) for a two-year off-campus "transfer programme", according to the institution's brochure.

Its website says it is registered as a private education organisation with Singapore's Ministry of Education.

However, the Ministry said that registration "does not in any way represent an endorsement or accreditation of the quality of the courses offered".

In a statement, the Ministry says it "does not have a list of accredited educational institutions and there is no central authority in Singapore that assesses or grants recognition for qualifications obtained from overseas or local institutions".

Lincoln did not respond to Times Higher Education's request for a comment.

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