Knightsbridge University is a private distance learning institution based in Denmark that caters mostly to English speaking people. It was founded in 1991 by Henrik Fyrst Kristensen. Although the school is based in Denmark, John Bear's guide states that Knightsbridge was formerly incorporated in Liberia and at time of publication was incorporated in Antigua and Barbuda, while using a mailing address in Scotland.
Accreditation and licensing status
Knightsbridge University is not accredited and is not officially recognized as an educational institution in Denmark. Due to the lack of accreditation, its degrees and credits might not be acceptable to employers or other institutions, and use of its degree titles may be restricted or illegal in some jurisdictions. Several American states identify Knightsbridge as a school that does not have appropriate legal authority to issue degrees. In 2006 Bear told the Irish Independent that "Knightsbridge most emphatically is not licensed or recognised by the Danish government (or any other government on Earth)." Formerly Knightsbridge claimed accreditation from the World Association of Universities and Colleges, an unrecognised accreditation agency. However, since 2003, Knightsbridge University has been registered as a limited company in Denmark. Danish law does not restrict private institutions without public funding from operating without approval or accreditation by Danish authorities, but their students are not eligible for state study grants.
There are a number of incidents reported in the news that involve use of Knightsbridge University degrees.
In 2000, Coleman Nyathi, an official of the South African province of Mpumalanga, was forced to resign after it was revealed that he had lied about his citizenship and that his academic credentials, including his Knightsbridge University doctoral degree in business administration, were "mail order" distance learning degrees from unaccredited institutions. Officials said that Knightsbridge and other universities where Nyathi had obtained degrees are not accredited in South Africa, so his degrees are useless in the country.
In another incident in 2006, Michael Meegan, the head of the Irish charity ICROSS in Africa, received negative attention when it was revealed that his claimed PhD in medical anthropology was not from an accredited university, but was from Knightsbridge University, described in the press as an institution "which trades from a Danish post office box."   The situation was revealed after he was asked to collaborate with Duke University on a proposed grant of $2.5 million from the US National Institutes of Health for a study of home care of HIV/AIDS, but did not disclose the source of his doctoral degree. He was dropped from the grant proposal when Duke learned that he did not hold a recognised degree. In April 2006 Meegan received an Honorary Doctorate in Medicine from the National University of Ireland.
In another incident in 2007, Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) discovered that the university's Chief Engineer and Fire Protection Services Manager, Tom Hulse, had used a bachelor's degree from Knightsbridge to qualify for his job, which he had held since 2001. Interviewed by reporters, Hulse admitted knowing that his degree had no standing in the US. He said: "We know it's not an accredited school. It's not a secret." IUPUI expected to treat the case as an ethics violation.
- John Kersey, A Case Study of Higher Education in the Private Sector: An Interview with Henrik Fyrst Kristensen, Vice Chancellor of Knightsbridge University, Denmark (PDF), Libertarian Alliance, 2006.
- Bear, John; Mariah Bear (2003-01-01). Bears' Guide to Earning Degrees by Distance Learning. Ten Speed Press. ISBN 1-58008-431-1.
- Unaccredited/non-recognised institutions, CIRIUS website (accessed December 19, 2007)
- U.S. Department of Education, Diploma Mills and Accreditation
- Oregon Office of Degree Authorization, Unaccredited Colleges Archived July 15, 2007, at the Wayback Machine.
- Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, Institutions Whose Degrees are Illegal to Use in Texas
- Famed charity boss lied in bid to get US grant, Irish Independent, July 13, 2006
- Ezell, Allen (2009), "Recent developments with degree mills" (PDF), College & University Journal (Vol85 No 2): 40
- Top official quits in citizenship row, The Daily Dispatch, Johannesburg, July 28, 2000
- Colin Coyle, Doubts over charity worker 'delay' humanitarian award, The Sunday Times, December 10, 2006
- IU investigates questionable diplomas, WTHR-TV, Indianapolis, July 9, 2007
- CIRIUS website. CIRIUS is the authority in the Danish Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation responsible for supporting education and training.
- Falske universitetsgrader fra jysk parcelhuskvarter, article critical of Knightsbridge University