Press Digest - Do not be fooled by fast degrees

PETALING JAYA: Seven days to complete a certificate course! Attend classes only once a month; can learn online even if you are overseas; and complete a degree programme within a year!

Don't fall for these kinds of "get college degrees fast" advertisements lest you end up not only losing your money but also wasting your time and efforts.

Malaysian Qualifications Agency (MQA) chief executive officer Datuk Prof Dr Rujhan Mustafa urged all those who want to further their tertiary education in the country to visit the Malaysian Qualifications Register (MQR) website to find out whether the programmes they intend to take up have been accredited by MQA.

According to a report in Sin Chew Daily today, Rujhan disclosed that there are dubious institutions which use "Get college degrees fast" slogans to attract students.

"But there is no shortcut to learning," he said, reminding potential candidates desperate for a tertiary qualification not to fall for such traps.

Pointing out that a diploma requires a minimum 90 credit hours, he said if a higher institution claims that its so-called crash course can be completed within seven days, it is probably a scam.

"The biggest problem in enrolling in an unaccredited programme is that it (certificate, diploma or degree awarded) is not recognised by the Public Service Department. The holder cannot become a civil servant," he said, adding that even the private sector may reject them.

Mindful that many parents invest a lot in their children's education, MQA is focusing on SPM/STPM school leavers, advising them to check the courses they intend to pursue at the MQR website or via myMQR mobile app.

Rujhan said this year alone, the agency has removed close to 100 tertiary education programmes from its register mainly due to sub-standard teaching staff, poor facilities and stoppage of classes due to inadequate enrolment.

It currently has accredited 11,200 programmes.