Is this a scam? Laureate Online Education & University of Liverpool MSc programmes

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Student Money Saving
67 replies 100.1K views
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  • FroggittFroggitt Forumite
    5.9K Posts
    You misunderstand.....which is surprising for an MSc student. What people are objecting to is the use of the name "University of Liverpool" on this course, when quite patently and obviously, it has two ninths of !!!!!! all to do with Liverpool.......no staff, no library, no campus etc. They are just using the good Liverpool name, and paying Liverpool a per capita bung presumably, in return for Liverpool's name on the accreditation.


    There's nothing inherently wrong with online/distance/digital learning.
    illegitimi non carborundum
  • Froggitt wrote: »
    You misunderstand.....which is surprising for an MSc student. What people are objecting to is the use of the name "University of Liverpool" on this course, when quite patently and obviously, it has two ninths of !!!!!! all to do with Liverpool.......no staff, no library, no campus etc. They are just using the good Liverpool name, and paying Liverpool a per capita bung presumably, in return for Liverpool's name on the accreditation.


    There's nothing inherently wrong with online/distance/digital learning.

    [FONT=&quot]It should be noted that Froggitt's opinion is unqualified.

    I did the MSc Information Systems Management course. The programme was created by University of Liverpool Science and Engineering Faculty members; they moderate and ensure quality assurance standards; it's their programme, and they award the degree. Library access is the same for on-campus and online courses, there is no distinction. All peer-reviewed journals are online now anyway; online students use the same UoL campus-based library resources as campus-based students. Online students also have physical access to the library (and a UoL library card and student ID card, optionally, but you’ll need both to use the library on campus) although I can't see the value because 95% of literature review will be with peer-reviewed articles and conference proceedings—which are online, as I said (this isn’t the 1980s).[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot] [/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]This was a “taught Masters”, however that may be misleading because the programme is research-focused: the taught elements comprise research, writing academic papers, tutorial assignments, requiring further research, and collaboration rebuttal, requiring yet further research. I suspect derogatory comments on this board are made by people who do not have a clear understanding of the requirements for a Master’s level degree, and perhaps compare it (incorrectly) to the expectations of an undergraduate degree.[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]
    As I previously mentioned, Laureate provide the technical infrastructure for core syllabus content delivery and classroom collaboration (which on my programme accounted for approximately 10% of the grades). Most online access will be with the University of Liverpool’s library resources (including the classroom collaboration—conducting further research for rebuttal, as I said).[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot] [/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]A note to those who seek to demean Laureate: it should be noted that this organization is in receipt of the largest single investment made by the World Bank into education. The honory chancellor is a former US President. This is not a mickey-mouse organization. They provide infrastructure support globally for many educational institutions--both online and bricks-and-mortar resources--many of which are globally recognized centers of excellence. The University of Liverpool appears to be using a multi-pronged strategy to access new global market opportunities; both online content delivery and investments into bricks-and-mortar infrastructure in other geographic areas (most notably London and China). Education, if it isn’t obvious, is a fiercely competitive industry significantly impacted by globalization.[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot] [/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot](Please excuse the occasional Americanisms, I am a British expatriate exiled in California.)[/FONT]
  • It is natural to defend the programme you’ve completed, although you could be associated with the university too. In a nutshell the reality is that Laureate have a lot to improve and equally University of Liverpool can be more involved in ensuring academic quality of their online programmes (assuming they are not present in classrooms and I’ve not seen evidence to suggest they are).

    In answer to my original post at the beginning of this thread, from my own personal experience, University of Liverpool Online programs are obviously not a scam and as of last year their IT postgraduate programmes were awarded British Computer Society accreditation, which is a positive sign for those in doubt.

    I think there is a common misconception about online programmes when it comes to substance and value gained during the process. My programme for example is much more intensive than anyone would expect an online programme can be and having shared the structure of an academic week with my friends and colleagues – the prevailing reaction is that it is intense and that it is a very big commitment, yet nevertheless worthwhile. I also enjoy the research element of the programme and have never experienced any outages or performance issues while using the University of Liverpool Library for Online Programmes.

    Regrettably the library is one of the few things provided by University of Liverpool directly, to my knowledge that is, and anyone enrolling in their online programmes should be painfully aware that they are Laureate students. Also the 10% are misleading and inaccurate as all people we interact with including instructors are not from the University of Liverpool plus we don’t spend 90% of the time in the library.

    The most problems I have had are to do with billing and to this day Laureate are still struggling after the LENS migration. To give you an example I’ve taken 3 modules last year – in contrast the billing system has issued 9 invoices; the outstanding balance displayed is often wrong; invoices never show which module they refer to; you pay balance on time then the system cancels the invoice and your payment is gone; last but not least any interaction with bursar team is infuriating at best and I have been fairly patient and accommodating when having to submit credit card statements in the past as they could not allocate payments properly etc. So yes they have a lot to improve and the five step complaints procedure is engineered in a way preventing you to voice your concerns to University of Liverpool, which is a shame.

    The other big issue I have is related to discussions in class, which are not adequately moderated. Verbatim copying is present almost in every class, which defeats the purpose of the discussion and decreases the value of the whole experience. In my last module for example I flagged two obvious cases of plagiarism to the instructor and although I should highlight that a large percent of the course instructors have PhDs - it is perhaps necessary that their research assistants or someone less senior moderates the forums or simply every response is submitted via turnitin to alleviate the issue above. For programme conducted online and asynchronously it is imperative for this issue to be addressed, while you should note that students are unlikely to complain about plagiarism.

    Also support for mobile clients is essential for online programmes and it’s a shame that no tablets or smartphones can be used with the learning environment especially when you need to follow up a thread and respond. Laureate have even blocked the use of the blackboard client for iOS or Android and those ought to be addressed – we are not moving away from smartphones or tablets, on the contrary the sales of computers are dropping and not the other way around.

    Last issue that comes to mind is how often content is being updated. My last module had its content revised in 2008/2009, judging by the time stamps on lecture notes PDFs that is, and let’s face it for a computer security programme this is too long considering how threats landscape for example changes much more rapidly. I suppose this can be covered using “this is fundamentals” argument.

    Overall if you pay your programme in advance so that you don’t have to interact with Laureate – the experience will be much more positive. In my case these interactions over billing issues have at times overshadowed anything else, but as you can see there is a margin for improvement (a rather large one).
  • Hello all,
    I can only describe my experience of the University of Liverpool online Masters as a scam. I lasted 2 weeks and was glad to walk away. s some other replies have mentioned the SALES TEAM (and that's what they are) are based in the Netherlands. When I started Module 1 the tutor was in south east England, some 200 miles away from Liverpool. When I mentioned about the need for flexibility later on in the module, as they promote when recruiting you, they refused. I then started a complaint procedure. (this was at the end of week 2). I was passed to the student liaison office. She was based in the Netherlands, not Liverpool. She advised me to continue with week 3 assignments but I didn't. After a few days I withdrew from the module.
    I came to the conclusion that I was paying a high fee to get taught by the well established education establishment on the banks of the Mersey but instead I was being taught by a man, probably in his spare bedroom, some 200 miles away who reported to people in another country.
    Afterwards I read online that you, as a member of the Laureate Lens online degree cannot even get access to the library at the real University of Liverpool.
    Further to this Laureate Lens are now chasing me for money. I paid one month fees but they are saying that because I did not quit till we were into week 3 - I have to pay for the full 12 week module
    I believe they are now showing their true colours


    Best to be avoided
  • Thanks for this thread, as it put me off looking into their online course.

    I was looking at taking an 100% online masters course.
    I was originally looking at University of Liverpool, but read some very bad reviews. The next i have found which looks interesting is the University of Hibernia.

    However as i am looking for reviews, i can not find any.
    Does anyone know about this university, especially their online courses?
  • FroggittFroggitt Forumite
    5.9K Posts
    I would suggest not too much difference in the quality of the online courses......with this one probably one of the best. I wouldn't even know what continent the University of Hibernia was on.......unless its the new name for something like Govan Technical College.


    However, online courses......
    illegitimi non carborundum
  • agrinnallagrinnall
    23.3K Posts
    ✭✭✭✭✭
    Froggitt wrote: »
    I would suggest not too much difference in the quality of the online courses......with this one probably one of the best. I wouldn't even know what continent the University of Hibernia was on.......unless its the new name for something like Govan Technical College.


    However, online courses......

    I'd never heard of them either, although I thought it was unlikely that an institution with Hibernia in the name would survive for long in Govan....

    Anyway, from their website:

    Hibernia College is Ireland’s only government-accredited eLearning college. We specialise in postgraduate, undergraduate and continuing professional development (CPD) programmes for students and professionals across the globe.

    http://hiberniacollege.com/

    Their address is in Dublin, although they also have a London base.
  • TrsTrs Forumite
    1 Post
    Hi,

    I did submit my dissertation at the UoL/Laureate, can agree that it was not walk in the park (all the modules required a lot of work indeed), so I would not describe that as a diploma mill. However, I was suggested to not submit my dissertation in time because some ¨faculty¨ was interested in me writing academic articles instead of graduating, and I went ahead with dissertation submission instead so am awaiting the result. What is curious, Laureate told themselves they employ the faculty and ¨own¨ the program, thus there is no faculty, or rather faculty is Laureate itself - even though they do not have any educational license, so they use other universities' names for that. In some program graduation statistics is zero (and it is never revealed neither to public nor to students), which leads to quite a different question - does UoL perhaps impose some quotas on online education, and graduate only a little amount of students, and others are just loosing their money? Will see soon if I get my diploma, but I have a feeling that it is just a rip off, and they are just fooling me for my money.

    It is true, we get no service from the UoL, and Laureate is a commercial company successfully recruiting idiots to which I proudly count myself now. In a couple of weeks I will know if they actually ripped me off, and if I only could turn the time back, I would never come close to neither Laureate nor the UoL for the matter.
    If that was your understanding of the expectations, I can see why this was a poor choice for you. I recently completed a University of Liverpool distance learning MSc programme (and graduated with distinction, so I hope this posting is considered qualified). I don’t recall “reading articles” or “watching videos”. But I do recall digesting countless peer-reviewed papers published in respected journals in addition to many conference proceedings, on top of the prescribed text--and writing many papers, and building a substantial body of research leading to a final dissertation.
  • myusdealmyusdeal Forumite
    4 Posts
    To me I don't think it is. But I suggest you try google and see what people are saying about their programs I believe if they 've scammed anyone they will definetely blog about it.

    I hope that helps
  • edited 6 October 2014 at 3:21PM
    Former_MSE_AndreaFormer_MSE_Andrea Former MSE
    9.6K Posts
    1,000 Posts Combo Breaker I've helped Parliament Rampant Recycler
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    edited 6 October 2014 at 3:21PM
    Hi

    Laureate Online Education has asked us to leave another response.

    The University of Liverpool is one of Europe’s largest providers of fully online postgraduate degrees and has been providing online education since 2000 when it partnered with online learning expert, Laureate Online Education. Through its online programmes, the University aims to meet the needs of working professionals in a demanding global marketplace – more than 10,500 students from over 160 countries are currently studying with the University online. The University is quality assured and regulated by the QAA, the UK’s governing body for higher education. Many of its online programmes have received prestigious accreditations from industry-leading organisations like AACSB and BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT.

    We take the concerns and experiences of our online students very seriously, and we are committed to working with our students to address any issues. We are also happy to discuss any questions from professionals who are interested in enrolling on our online programmes. To speak with a representative, please contact us at [email protected]. Thank you.
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