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Da Nang Secretary’s PhD considered ‘unaccredited’ degree

Wednesday, September 20, 2017, 14:04 GMT+7

The academic degrees of Nguyen Xuan Anh, secretary of the Party Committee in the central city of Da Nang, are considered illegitimate in Vietnam as they were obtained when the U.S.-based university he gained them from was not accredited.

Multiple violations committed by Secretary Anh recently disclosed by the Central Inspection Committee included the declaration of illegitimate degrees.

The Da Nang leader enrolled in a master’s program in business administration at the United States’ California Southern University from March 2001 to September 2002.

From March 2005 to December 2006, Anh also completed a doctorate program and earned a PhD in business administration from the same university.   

However, the institution’s degrees are not recognized by the Vietnamese Ministry of Education and Training, meaning Anh’s master’s and PhD degrees are invalid in the country.

Unaccredited degrees

The Southern California University for Professional Studies (SCUPS) was renamed California Southern University in 2007.

Accreditation for the school was previously carried out by the Distance Education Accrediting Commission (DEAC) and WASC Senior College and University Commission.

DEAC began the process on January 16, 2010 and later withdrew itself on November 1, 2015, announcing that it would resume the procedure on December 31, 2019.

Meanwhile, the WASC Senior College and University Commission completed its accreditation of the university on June 19, 2015.

The headquarters of the Southern California University in this photo taken from the school’s official website
The headquarters of the Southern California University in this photo taken from the school’s official website

In cases where an institution issues degrees for its students before being accredited, such degreed will be considered unaccredited.

In accordance with the Vietnamese law, all degrees issued by The Southern California University prior to 2010, when it was first accredited by the DEAC, are not recognized in the Southeast Asian country.

Anh’s degrees’ value?

The Southern California University received its education license from U.S. authorities in 1978. Business administration is among the three majors that have a doctorate program at the facility.

Anh was granted his PhD in 2006, before the school was accredited by either of the two organizations, DEAC and WASC Senior College and University Commission

Speaking with Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper, an expert on U.S. higher education said the degrees of the Da Nang leader would not be considered illegal in the North American country, but are considered of low quality based on local evaluation criteria.

In addition, the PhD is not likely to be accepted by any recruiters in the U.S. as a degree issued by a non-accredited university is often seen as invalid.

According to Le Viet Khuyen, a former official of Vietnam’s Ministry of Education and Training, learners should review carefully the status and credibility of any school before enrolling.

Khuyen also pointed out that the time it took Anh to complete his doctorate program, 21 months, was too fast.

In accordance with international standards on education established by the UNESCO, a doctorate program should take at least three years.

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