Yesterday (16 Apr), TRE published a story about an Indian national turned Singaporean, Nisha Padmanabhan, who is employed by IDA (‘IDA defends staff who obtained MBA from degree mill‘).
As it turns out, the MBA that Ms Padmanabhan obtained was from a degree mill, the Southern Pacific University (SPU).
SPU is not accredited and it was closed in Hawaii by a court order. Subsequently, it started operating from Malaysia [Link]. A blogger also alerted that a group of “students” had made a police complaint against SPU for losing RM18,000 each “for the junk” [Link].
Earlier this year, a Vietnamese News also mentioned SPU [Link]:
[Google Translate of relevant paragraphs]:
“It was bought by domestic and overseas buyers by. Fellows get doctorates abroad but do not learn, do not know a word of English double break. After the University of the South Pacific (Southern Pacific University) was uncovered, it was pouring through a PhD Philippines. PhD but is actually traveling, combined with purchase.
If the degree is not worth relating to the appointment, be promoted in the system state agencies, there is no degree trafficking as grocery shopping today.”
Many netizens began to ask IDA if it knew about the matter. After weeks of silence, IDA finally replied.
It said that her Bachelor’s degree is from a reputable university and she was recruited based on the Bachelor degree. Her MBA was “not a relevant certificate for her position in IDA”, it added.
IDA’s full reply on its Facebook page [Link]:
However, netizens are not convinced of IDA’s reply. Many are saying it’s a question of integrity even though she may have been hired based on her bachelor’s degree.
University of Mumbai not in top 500
In its reply, IDA has mentioned that Ms Padmanabhan’s basic degree is from a “reputable university” and she was recruited because of this.
In her LinkedIn information, she said that she had graduated from University of Mumbai with a Bachelor’s degree in Electronics and Telecommunication.
TRE did a check with regard to the world’s ranking of University of Mumbai.
In the Times Higher Education Top 400 World University Rankings 2014-2015 [Link], University of Mumbai was not listed at all.
In fact, only 4 Indian universities were ranked among the World’s top 400:
- 276-300th, Indian Institute of Science
- 276-300th, Panjab University
- 351-400th, Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay
- 351-400th, Indian Institute of Technology, Roorkee
Singapore, a much smaller country than India, had 2 universities ranked among the World’s top 400:
- 25th, NUS
- 61st, NTU
In the QS World University Rankings, another popular ranking commonly cited, the University of Mumbai is ranked 551st in the world [Link].
NUS on the other hand is ranked 22nd while NTU is 39th.
So, do you think that University of Mumbai is a “reputable university” as stated by IDA?
What do you think?