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
tiaunftiaunf Forumite
4 Posts
edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Student Money Saving
Hi there,

I've enrolled in one of their MSc programmes, but I have concerns and I am worried if this might turn out to be a scam!?

Most of the so called "faculty" staff I have deal with seem sales and definitely not based in the UK! None of the issues raised are being resolved or looked at, but in the same time they are being pushy and auto-enrolled me in further module, without asking for my consent and I have expressed no intention of enrolling in these etc.

I guess I am looking for views on their legitimacy or past experiences...

Thanks

George
«134567

Replies

  • RimskiRimski Forumite
    29 Posts
    Hi

    If you check out the University of Liverpool website and in the A-Z search Laureate this will give you more information.

    Hope this helps
  • dizzyrascaldizzyrascal Forumite
    845 Posts
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    They have become partners with an American provider for their online distance learning Masters.
    The degree is accredited by Liverpool so in theory it should be to a high standard but essentially Liverpool is just a vehicle through which Laureate sell their courses. It is all about sales and volume. In the past some good universities have accredited other degrees from external parties and lived to regret it as they have bad headlines in the press. (courses have passed everyone cos they needed the money etc)
    You may get some support from Liverpool student services as part of the deal, or you may not bit it is worth checking.
    Personally I would look online and see if you can take the same qualification elsewhere. One that provides good online support or where you have telephone support from your tutor.
    I would also suggest that you look at how easy it is to get accepted? If they only give your degree certificate a cursory glance and will take you with a third or without a personal statement then I would be suspicious.
    There are three types of people in this world. Those who can count and those who can't.
  • agrinnallagrinnall
    23.3K Posts
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    I suggest you read the forum rules about posting as a company representative:

    http://www.moneysavingexpert.com/site/forum-faqs#companies
  • dizzyrascaldizzyrascal Forumite
    845 Posts
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    This is in reply to one of the course leaders who posted but I see that post has now been deleted.
    This was my reply (you never know, it might be useful)
    I did recently show some interest in one of your courses so I will tell you of my experience.
    I would have preferred to go for an open day but instead your system forces people to go to an online form to get further information about the course. This form has required fields so you have to give your email and a contact phone number.
    Within an hour or so of submitting the form I was contacted by phone despite ticking the box which said I would prefer to have email contact. I explained to your “Consultant” that I did not take phone calls at work but I still got the hard sell. I then did get an email and having looked at the course, decided it was not suitable. Despite my earlier discussion to ask for no calls to my mobile phone I was then rung on a number of occasions and left “urgent messages” on my voicemail to get in touch. I also receive emails. I responded to these by declining your course. (I already have a deferred place on another MSc)
    I don’t think it helps much when the number phoning me is an international one and the “Consultant” speaks in an American accent and is frankly just there to push a sale. He had no interest in whether the course would suit me or not. I personally get very put off when pursued by sales people. Others may respond differently.
    I was also shocked by the cost. The minimum fee for an MSc via your online system is about £12,000 and that was only if I paid up front. Don’t forget this is online; there is no physical teaching going on.
    If I chose to pay by instalments it would cost even more, roughly £14,000.
    There is also a note at the bottom of the fees sheet that points out that “Use of physical facilities at the University of Liverpool” is not included.
    I take that to mean no support from any of the student services or from say the Careers Service. This is something that would normally be offered as standard alongside a DL programme or physical part time study at a UK university.
    Just to note my deferred MSc will cost me less than £5,000 and I get all the support I need as part of the deal.
    There are three types of people in this world. Those who can count and those who can't.
  • edited 3 October 2014 at 5:07PM
    Former_MSE_AndreaFormer_MSE_Andrea Former MSE
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    edited 3 October 2014 at 5:07PM
    Hi

    Laureate Online Education has asked us to post a response.

    The University of Liverpool is the largest provider of 100% online postgraduate degrees in Europe. In partnership with Laureate Online Education, the University offers programmes in Management, Medicine, IT and Law, designed to meet the needs of working professionals in a demanding global marketplace.

    There are currently 8,000 students studying for a University of Liverpool degree online in 175 countries around the globe. All online degrees are fully accredited by the University and quality assured by the QAA.
    For further information please visit: http://www.liv.ac.uk/study/online/index.htm
    For more information about our accreditation, please visit: http://www.liverpool-degrees.com/Online%20Learning/Accreditation.aspx
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  • ElvisiaElvisia Forumite
    914 Posts
    Part of the Furniture Combo Breaker
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    I worked for a university that was bought out by a major online "diploma factory" who sound very similar, they were all about the sell, and once they'd got your money there was little to no after care. As a prof it was utterly frustrating as we had too many students to teach, told to teach them less hours which saved money, and it was all sell-sell-sell. A proper university (possible Liverpool's real side as opposed to the virtual) would advise you on a proper course. I think universities do this in order to make money, and it's such a shame. The company who took us over were in the States, and we had ridiculous meetings about how to sell courses, and very few meetings on how to teach them, except for meetings where they'd suddenly announce massive changes as if we could just completely change a syllabus at the drop of a hat. Oh and we also had students accepted who spoke hardly any English, making classes online a nightmare.
  • tiaunftiaunf Forumite
    4 Posts
    Thanks to all of you who replied.

    I attempted to escalate my concerns and on the 4th of July 2012 it was suggested by a Student Advisor from Laureate Online Education B.V. that this might be escalated - this is what he wrote:
    "In my personal opinion no, I do not think you are expecting too much.
    To be frank I plan to escalate what you have told me to a higher level of faculty to see if it cannot be resolved."
    "I am sorry that so far things have not met the standards you expected."

    needless to say I've heard nothing further and 24 days later I am pretty sure that they have little to no intention to address the issues raised!

    What Elvisia wrote is unfortunately true - the english language in use is abysmal and blatant verbatim copying is continuing by some in online discussions therefore I feel discussions should be moderated, which at the moment they are not plus I feel that grading should not be done on the basis of number of responses - instead it should be on the basis of substance...

    Last but not least I wish there was some student/consumer organization that monitors/regulates such educational institutions. After all as University of Liverpool suggested they have 8000 people enrolled in online courses @ 12k each - this could generate in the region of 96 million pounds, which IF spent properly can go a long way although the programme I am in has been nothing but a disappointment :(
  • They are a complete waste of money. It's true they just want to SELL SELL SELL.
    The courses is all about reading articles and watching videos, then they ask you to write an assignment and you and other students need to comment on each other's assignments and the prof just comments with a line or two.
    They are a diploma factory and when I realized that I stopped the courses but they continued to enroll me in courses and they sent me to collection agency for none payment. They will screw your credit at credit bureaus and will take you to court. It's been a 10000 eu nightmare.
    Avoid Laureate and university of liverpool at ALL COSTS and save yourself from hell. They are scam just to sell you a diploma.
  • Hi,
    I applied for further info. I have been contacted twice by a lady in Holland. I answered all her seemingly relevant questions about my education & work experience but am left with a lot of doubts as to the validity & genuineness of the way it is supposed to work.
    Why Holland? Why a non-native English speaker (although her English as good)
    I don't have a good feeling about the way this is unfolding and doubt that I will be taking my application any further.
  • wiseadvice wrote: »
    They are a complete waste of money. It's true they just want to SELL SELL SELL.
    The courses is all about reading articles and watching videos, then they ask you to write an assignment and you and other students need to comment on each other's assignments and the prof just comments with a line or two.
    They are a diploma factory and when I realized that I stopped the courses but they continued to enroll me in courses and they sent me to collection agency for none payment. They will screw your credit at credit bureaus and will take you to court. It's been a 10000 eu nightmare.
    Avoid Laureate and university of liverpool at ALL COSTS and save yourself from hell. They are scam just to sell you a diploma.

    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.

    The classroom element only accounts for about 10% of the programme content (which seems to be the main focus of your criticism), and most of that time is spent undertaking further research to support or refute arguments (the synchronous aspect of peer interaction with the online format being an advantage over traditional, pedagogical / classroom interaction for research-focused postgraduate work)—and contrary to your statement is rigorously moderated. It has to be; this is where you demonstrate substantial (or poor) understanding of the subject matter and your ability to apply that knowledge critically.

    Your complaint regarding Laureate is also curious—especially as they only provide the business and technical infrastructure for the distance learning programs. They are also a very substantial, global business in their own right, providing distance-learning infrastructure in both the online and traditional formats to many established, top tier bricks-and-mortar Universities.

    “Diploma mill” is a bizarre charge to make against a globally ranked, top one percentile University. How will you qualify this charge? Call the Nobel Prize committee and have them pull the half-dozen or so Nobel prizes they awarded to distinguished UoL faculty? Call up CERN and tell them that the UoL particle physicists are not properly credentialed? Sounds to me more like sour grapes on your part; disgruntled because you lacked the motivation, or work ethic, or academic capability.
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