American University of London

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
American University of London
American University of London logo.jpg
Type Unaccredited

The American University of London (AUOL) is a for-profit unaccredited educational institution offering undergraduate and graduate degrees solely by distance learning.[1] It should not be confused with the American University in London, which is also unaccredited.[2] News media have reported that the institution has awarded degrees without requiring any work from the student.[3][4] While incorporated in the West Indies as "American University of London Inc", its UK operation is "AOUL Ltd", thus getting around UK restrictions on the use of the word "university" in company names.[5]

The institution has no campus. According to its website, the American University of London was established in 1984 as the American College of Science & Technology and was incorporated as an independent distance learning institution in 1999 in St. Kitts and Nevis. The website lists mailing addresses in London and Beverly Hills, California.[1] Bears' Guide and several U.S. state education agencies indicate that the institution is associated with the Anacrusis Institute, an unaccredited institution based in Greece and the United Kingdom.[2][6][7][8]


The university's website and associated prospectus states that it is accredited in the United States by agencies specializing primarily in distance learning.[1]

The Oregon Office of Degree Authorization (ODA) identifies two possibly unrelated entities operating under the name "American University of London", one in St. Kitts and Nevis, the United Kingdom and Sri Lanka, and the other in Saudi Arabia. According to ODA, the Saudi Arabian institution does not have degree-granting authority in Saudi Arabia and neither institution has legal authority to enroll Oregon students and their credentials may not be used in the state.[9] American University of London also appears on lists of unaccredited colleges and universities maintained by the U.S. states of Maine[6] and Texas.[8]

According to the AUOL prospectus, the University has "not applied for accreditation with any American nor British official accreditor". The same prospectus adds that its degrees are validated due to their "agreement with a renowned USA agency" who are able to issue Equivalency Certificates to AUOL graduates. This agency is not named. AUOL is also a member of the American Association for Higher Education and Accreditation, which is not a recognized accreditor.[10] AUOL is not a valid UK degreea awarding body.[11]

The Arab News used the term "degree mill" to describe the online educational institution operating in Saudi Arabia as "American University of London".[3]

Although the AUOL website states: "If your intention is to “buy” a degree, beware! This university is not and has never been a degree mill and we will instantly reject such applications",[12] an investigation by the BBC current affairs programme Newsnight in 2013 found that the university awarded an MBA for £4,500 without requiring any work from the student. The "student" was actually a dog with a CV listing fictitious claims of qualifications and experience.[4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Official website (Accessed 6 Feb 2013)
  2. ^ a b Bear, Mariah P. and John Bear. Bears' Guide to Earning Degrees by Distance Learning. Ten Speed Press, 2003.
  3. ^ a b Wala Hawari & Samir Al-Saadi (7 April 2009). "What’s real and what’s fake?". Arab News. Archived from the original on 18 April 2009. 
  4. ^ a b Jim Reed and Mike Deri Smith (22 October 2013). "American University of London sells study-free MBA". BBC Newsnight. BBC. 
  5. ^ Jayne Rowley (9 July 2015). "For Pete’s Sake". Higher Education Degree Datacheck. Graduate Prospects. Retrieved 22 October 2016. 
  6. ^ a b "Non-Accredited Colleges & Universities List". State of Maine Department of Education. Retrieved 2007-06-20. 
  7. ^ "Unauthorized Schools and Invalid Degrees". Oregon Office of Degree Authorization. Archived from the original on May 9, 2013. Retrieved March 20, 2013. Anacrusis Institute: Greece, UK. Greece does not recognize private degree suppliers. Related to American U of London. 
  8. ^ a b Institutions Whose Degrees are Illegal to Use in Texas, Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, accessed March 20, 2013
  9. ^ "Unauthorized Schools and Invalid Degrees". Oregon Office of Degree Authorization. Archived from the original on May 9, 2013. Retrieved March 20, 2013. 
  10. ^ Thomas Bartlett, ""Inquiry Into Higher-Education Group Reveals Odd Connections," Chronicle of Higher Education, Monday, August 25, 2008
  11. ^ "American University of London". Higher Education Degree Datacheck. Graduate Prospects. Retrieved 22 October 2016. 
  12. ^ "AUOL Accreditation". American University of London. Retrieved April 5, 2013. 

External links[edit]