Politecnico di Studi Aziendali

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Polytechnic University of Business Studies
Politecnico di Studi Aziendali
Logo Politecnico di Studi Aziendali
Former name
Politecnico di Lugano
Established1987 (1987)
Parent institution
RectorFausto Cardano (previously: Gregory Overton Smith)
DirectorMassimo Silvestri
Zug (previously: Roveredo, Agno, Lugano)

The Politecnico di Studi Aziendali (Polytechnic University of Business Studies), formerly also referred to as Politecnico di Lugano (Polytechnic University of Lugano), is an unaccredited distance learning, proprietary, for-profit university located in Zug, Switzerland (previously: Roveredo, Agno, Lugano) operated by ISSEA SA.


The school has no campus and issues degrees based on life experiences and optional online learning courses. Although the director/founder is not a member of the Swiss Bar or Italian Bar,[1] he introduces himself as an attorney, using the Italian "avv." title.[2] The school issues Bachelor's,[3] Master's,[4] and Doctoral degrees.[5] Despite being based in Switzerland, the school has Italian landlines and the personnel only speak Italian because the degrees are offered mostly to Italians, as unaccredited universities are illegal in Italy.[6]

Legal status[edit]

Its parent company, ISSEA SA, can operate because of the economic freedom and scientific freedom guaranteed in Title 2 of the Swiss Federal Constitution (art. 27 and art. 20). The institution is accredited[7][8][9][10][11][12] by the Rectors' Conference of the Swiss Universities (CRUS)[7] nor by the Department of Education, Culture and Sports of Ticino.[9][11] ISSEA SA has also been denied accreditation by the Federal Administrative Court of Switzerland.[13] The same federal court permanently banned ISSEA and its Politecnico di studi aziendali from the European Erasmus Programme because of their unaccredited status.[14] Since January 1, 2015, the usage of the words "polytechnic" and/or "university" by unaccredited institutions has been declared illegal by the Canton of Ticino, which is why the Politecnico di Studi Aziendali had to leave Ticino.[15]

In 1993, the Italian Ministry of Education included the Politecnico di studi aziendali in a list of private institutions which are not allowed to issue valid academic qualifications.[10]

ISSEA is a member of the general assembly of EMUNI University[16] so it can receive European public funds (such as €50,000 in 2012)[17][18]—although Switzerland is not in the European Union—and is certified by SQS.ch with registry number 34044.

In 2016, the Canton of Grisons' parliament asked to stop the company from operating even in the new location.[19] A few months later, the unaccredited school moved to the Canton of Zug.[20]

In the same year, in the tribunal of the Canton of Ticino, the company was convicted of unauthorized use of protected names ("university", "polytechnic" etc.)[20]

Other names[edit]

After the Swiss authorities declared the name "Politecnico di studi aziendali" illegal, the institution's ads started to use different names as well, such as Polotecnico di studi aziendali (one vowel was changed) or Polo Tecnico di studi aziendali (literally: Technical research center of business studies, www.unipsa.net), Unipsa, I.S.S.E.A. sa Scuola Universitaria Privata a Distanza, C.I.S.M.A.D. (Centro Italiano Studi Multidisciplinari a Distanza, www.cismad.it), unisupdi.ch or Supsi (not to be confused with SUPSI, an accredited Swiss university).[1]

In 2016, after moving to Zug, the institution also started to use the name "Università telematica privata Unisanraffaele - Unise" (www.unise.ch) while maintaining all the previous names. The new name may be misleading because it closely resembles "Università telematica San Raffaele"—where "San" and "Raffaele" (Saint Raphael) are separated by a space—which is a real accredited Italian online university.

An old website called "Private University Consortium" (www.umc-puc.edu),[21] created in 1999 and deactivated in 2006, also sold degrees from Gibraltar under the name of "Università Mons Calpe", from Colorado under the name of "American Business School LLC", and from Panama under the name of "University Europanamense". The consortium was supposed to be headquartered in the same office as the Politecnico di studi aziendali in Ticino. All the institutions were unaccredited and all the offices no longer exist.[22][23]

Univolta Università Telematica Privata Alessandro Volta[edit]

As of 2017, the institution is also being advertised as "Univolta Università Telematica Privata Alessandro Volta" (Online Private University Alessandro Volta, www.univolta.ch), using the same office in Zug and the same domain name as the Politecnico di Studi Aziendali (www.unipsa.ch) — whose name has been declared illegal by Swiss authorities — as well as "Atena Unitelematica scuola universitaria www.uniatena.ch" (Telematic university Athena). At the same time, www.unipsa.net is being used by the aforementioned "Polo Tecnico di studi aziendali".[1]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "Politecnico di studi aziendali ISSEA Unipsa Zugo: finte università telematiche svizzere private per comprare la laurea a distanza" [Politecnico di studi aziendali ISSEA Unipsa Zug: Swiss diploma mills selling unaccredited online degrees] (in Italian). Retrieved 8 August 2017.
  2. ^ "Il benvenuto del direttore" [Welcome from the director] (in Italian). Retrieved 2 June 2017.
  3. ^ "Facoltà di Scienze Aziendali" (in Italian). Retrieved 28 August 2014.
  4. ^ "Master a distanza" (in Italian). Retrieved 28 August 2014.
  5. ^ "Dottorato di Ricerca" (in Italian). Retrieved 28 August 2014.
  6. ^ Fittipaldi, Emiliano (21 March 2012). "La casta beffata dal falso rettore" [The political caste deceived by a fake rector]. L'espresso (in Italian). Retrieved 4 March 2015.
  7. ^ a b "Recognised or Accredited Swiss Higher Education Institutions". Crus.ch. Rectors' Conference of the Swiss Universities. Archived from the original on 16 October 2014. Retrieved 24 October 2014.
  8. ^ "Swiss Center of Accreditation and Quality Assurance in Higher Education (OAQ)". Archived from the original on 25 September 2014. Retrieved 29 October 2014.
  9. ^ a b "Area degli studi universitari della DCSU" [University studies office of the Department of Education, Culture and Sports] (in Italian). Retrieved 29 October 2014.
  10. ^ a b Benedetto Coccia, Carlo Finocchietti (2009). "Le politiche di contrasto" [Policies against frauds] (PDF). Le fabbriche di titoli [Degree mills] (PDF) (in Italian). Rome: Cimea. pp. 158–159. Archived from the original (PDF) on 3 September 2014. Retrieved 17 March 2015.CS1 maint: Uses authors parameter (link)
  11. ^ a b "Elenco delle scuole universitarie riconosciute, accreditate o in via di accreditamento" [List of universities that are recognized and accredited or will be accredited]. Republic and Canton of Ticino (in Italian). Retrieved 3 March 2015.
  12. ^ "Bocciatura per l'ISSEA, che vede l'università sempre più a distanza" (in Italian). Switzerland: Ticinonline. March 1, 2012. Retrieved 28 August 2014.
  13. ^ "Vuoi iscriverti a medicina senza il test di ammissione? Facile" [Do you want to avoid the mandatory admission test for medical school? Easy] (in Italian). 25 April 2012. Retrieved 11 June 2017.
  14. ^ "Tribunale amministrativo federale, Sentenza del 13 agosto 2013" (PDF). Federal Administrative Court of Switzerland (in Italian). 13 August 2013. Retrieved 17 March 2015.
  15. ^ Moles, Diego (16 December 2014). "Atenei sui generis nel mirino: In Ticino le università sono solo quattro – Chi abusa del nome sarà denunciato penalmente" [Unusual universities in the line of fire: Ticino only has four universities; the false use of the name will be prosecuted] (in Italian). Retrieved 16 January 2015.
  16. ^ http://www.emuni.si/en/about-emuni/organisation
  17. ^ "Borse di studio Master INPDAP Certificate" (in Italian). 30 April 2005. Archived from the original on 8 August 2012. Retrieved 11 March 2015.
  18. ^ Ilarietti, Davide (18 June 2015). "Lauree sotto inchiesta: "Ci insegnavano a pulire le cozze"" [Degrees under investigation: «They taught us how to clean mussels»] (in Italian). Retrieved 27 August 2015.
  19. ^ "Grigioni, università fantasma" [Ghost university in the Grisons' canton] (in Italian). Radiotelevisione svizzera. 28 August 2015. Retrieved 29 April 2016.
  20. ^ a b "Abuso di denominazione" [Unauthorized use of protected name] (in Italian). Radiotelevisione svizzera. 19 July 2016. Retrieved 27 October 2016.
  21. ^ "Private University Consortium". Archived from the original on 14 October 2006. Retrieved 2 June 2017.
  22. ^ "CIMEA against the mills" (PDF). Retrieved 2 June 2017.
  23. ^ "Fabbriche di titoli" [Diploma mills] (PDF) (in Italian). Retrieved 11 June 2017.