IPOH: Two people have lodged police reports claiming that a tuition centre in Kuala Lumpur has been deceiving people into signing up for a degree course supposedly offered in collaboration with a university in Spain which does not exist.
The centre – which has headquarters in Kuala Lumpur and Johor Baru – has over 200 centres under its franchise nationwide.
Pang Chee Wai, 25, the owner of one of the centres in Taiping, and Ooi Jia Kee, 21, a tutor at his centre, said they realised the degree course was likely fake.
They said the main centre kept changing the universities it supposedly collaborated with over the last three years.
Pang said that he took up the part-time course at the centre’s headquarters in Kuala Lumpur, and added that when he received his degree scroll, the name of the university printed on the scroll was different from what was expected.
“I received my scroll in 2016 during a convocation ceremony held by the centre in a hall, with some people handing out the degrees," said Pang
He added that the people handing out the degrees had proclaimed themselves to be professors.
Pang said that in March, Ooi started investigating because she was not satisfied when she was told that the centre was now collaborating with a different university for her course.
Speaking at a press conference organised by Perak MCA Public Services and Complaints Bureau chief Low Guo Nan, Pang said that both he and Ooi were suspicious about the programme.
“We had no idea who the lecturers were, and there was not much information available on the Spanish university over the Internet,” he said.
Pang and Ooi lodged police reports about the matter at the Simpang police station in Taiping.
He said that he spent about RM50,000 on his 'degree course' over a span of four years, while Ooi, who is currently in her third year, had forked out almost RM20,000.
Ooi said a group of people from the headquarters had been offering the four-year part-time degree courses to the tutors, with their monthly fees deducted from their salaries once they signed up.
“Every month, RM412 is deducted from my salary for the course. I received my 'diploma' in 2017, and I have another year to go before I obtain my 'degree'," said Ooi.
“But with the diploma being fake, I will not be able to transfer credits even if I enrolled in a proper university. I feel so cheated as I wasted three years studying for a course offered by a university that does not exist,” she added.
Ooi said she had questioned the management in Kuala Lumpur, but the director avoided her questions and told her she was not in charge.
She said that the person she spoke to kept beating around the bush.
“If I am not mistaken between 200 and 300 students have registered for this course. I hope they will be brave enough to come forward to lodge police reports,” said Ooi.
Low urged the police to take the reports seriously and added that the Education Ministry should also look into the matter.
“Seeing the university’s website and its Facebook account, (I think) they look so unprofessional. There is not much information available as well,” he said.