Rutherford University

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Rutherford University
Motto Longevity, Advancement, Wisdom
Type unaccredited private university
Active 1993–2009 (2009)
Chancellor Abdul Hassam
Address Mbabane, 28-29 Dzeliwe Street, Mbabane, Swaziland; British Columbia, Canada; Hong Kong, China; Mexico; South Africa; Evanston, Wyoming

Rutherford University, also known as Senior University International and Stratford International University,[1] was an unaccredited[2] private institution that offered degrees online. It operated from 1993 through 2009 and offered the following degrees: Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Science, Master of Arts, Master of Science, Master of Business Administration, Doctor of Philosophy, Doctor of Business Administration.[3]

The Oregon Office of Degree Authorization had labeled Rutherford University a degree mill.[4]


On its website Rutherford claimed to be accredited by the International States Parliament,[5][6] an organization based in Palermo, Sicily.[7] Rutherford also claimed to be recognized by the government of the African nation of Swaziland, but this was denied by the nation's minister of education and other education officials in early 2008.[8] Subsequently, the claim of recognition by Swaziland was removed from the university website[8] and returned.[9]

The Oregon Office of Degree Authorization stated that Rutherford University had "no authority to issue degrees."[4] The British Columbia government believed that the school was operating unlawfully from British Columbia.[1]


Rutherford was established in 1993 as Senior University International in Evanston, Wyoming. Senior University International was not allowed to continue its operations from Wyoming after it did not meet the requirements of the Wyoming government.[10][11]

Subsequently the school officially operated from British Columbia. According to Hoovers it had annual sales of 600,000 dollars with seven employees in Vancouver, but other reports stated that it operated from Richmond. Richmond was the place of residence of Rutherford senior Abdul Sultan Hassam,[12] In March 2006 Rutherford was instructed to stop enrolling students from British Columbia.[5][11]

In 2003, a "Rutherford University" was identified as planning to develop a new campus in New South Wales, Australia.[13]

In 2005 the Dutch foundation "Counselling Netherlands" in Heteren started a Bachelor of Arts in Multidisciplinary Counselling program for 10.000 euro over four years through Rutherford University. However, in 2008 it was discovered that the school was not accredited as Counselling Netherlands had claimed.[2][14][15]

In 2007 the university claimed to have its headquarters in Mbabane, Swaziland,[16] However, its corporate headquarters remained in Evanston, Wyoming.[17] As of mid-2008, only an address in Swaziland was provided by the institution.[5] A telephone number in Swaziland was removed from the website after the operator had stated not to know Rutherford University.[8] The Oregon Office of Degree Authorization reports listed Wyoming, British Columbia, Swaziland, South Africa, and China as geographic locations with which Rutherford University has been associated.[4]

In June 2009, all the information on the sub-pages was no longer available from the organization's website. The website of "Rutherford University Mexico" was accessible after being temporarily unavailable, but by September 2009 the domain was no longer connected.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Who is operating unlawfully in BC?". 2006-10-22. Archived from the original on October 20, 2007. Retrieved 2008-04-12. 
  2. ^ a b Van Der Mee, Tonny; Wessels, Kees (2008-04-10). "Een diploma van niks voor 10.000 euro" [A degree worth zilch for 10,000 euro]. Algemeen Dagblad (in Dutch). Retrieved 2010-10-21. 
  3. ^ Rutherford University :: Programs. Accessed 2008-04-10. Archived April 4, 2008, at the Wayback Machine.
  4. ^ a b c Unaccredited colleges Archived 2007-03-19 at the Wayback Machine., Oregon Office of Degree Authorization, Oregon
  5. ^ a b c "The Diploma Mafias - with a list of diploma factories worldwide". New Sabah (1069). Iraq. Archived from the original on July 19, 2010. Retrieved 2015-07-03. Rutherford University, a diploma factory first based in Canada, escaped to the American state of Wyoming two years ago, after the Canadian government had taken action against companies selling fake university diplomas. But after Wyoming invoked its higher education laws, the university decided it was better to leave America altogether and it is now selling its diplomas from Swaziland. Its website says the university is “fully accredited” by something called the “International States Parliament” which is also a joke. Other institutes which look like daughters of Rutherford University even claim to be accredited by the “Supreme Council of the Presidency of the International States Parliament” which is three times nothing. 
  6. ^ Rutherford University :: About. Accessed 2008-04-10. Archived April 4, 2008, at the Wayback Machine.
  7. ^ Ezell, Allen; Bear, John (2005). "Appendix E: Accreditation". Degree Mills: The Billion-dollar Industry That Has Sold Over A Million Fake Diplomas. Prometheus Books. ISBN 978-1-59102-238-1. Here is a list of more than two hundred accrediting agencies that, as of late 2004, are not recognized by either CHEA or the US Department of Education. Inclusion on this list does not mean the accreditor is good or bad, real or fake, but only that it [is] not recognized by either of these two agencies. [...] Parlamento Mondiale per la Sicurazza e la Pace. Accreditor claimed by Senior University, Wyoming. It awards titles of nobility from an address in Palermo, Italy. 
  8. ^ a b c "Zelfs de minister van Onderwijs van Swaziland weet van niets (Dutch: Even the Minister of Education of Swaziland is not in the picture)". Algemeen Dagblad. 2008-04-10. Retrieved 2010-10-21. 
  9. ^ Rutherford University :: Recognition and Accreditation. Accessed 2009-03-27[dead link]
  10. ^ Barron J: "Online school departs". Star-Tribune 2006-06-16. Accessed 2008-04-12.
  11. ^ a b Millar R: "B.C. government to review private school regulation." 2007-06-26. Accessed 2008-04-10.
  12. ^ Steffenhagen, Janet: B.C. Blacklists Private University. Vancouver Sun 2008-06-11. Accessed 2009-03-28.
  13. ^ "University-in-the-park scheme fails to add up". Sydney Morning Herald. Sydney. June 7, 2003. Retrieved March 29, 2009. 
  14. ^
  15. ^ Van Der Mee T and Wessels K: "Studenten misleid met neptitels" ((in Dutch): Students misled with phony titles). Algemeen Dagblad 2008-04-10. Accessed 2010-10-21.
  16. ^ "Preston University moves to Alabama, spins off new school". Daily Times-Call. 2007-03-15. Preston University has moved to Alabama — where there’s less oversight of post-secondary education — now that Wyoming requires private universities to be accredited. Preston is now based in Montgomery, Ala., and joins at least one other online school, Rutherford University, that has left Wyoming in response to the law. [...] Also within the past several months, Rutherford University has moved from Rock Springs to Mbabane, Swaziland, according to the school’s Web site. 
  17. ^ Rutherford University :: Contact info. Accessed 2008-04-10. Archived April 4, 2008, at the Wayback Machine.

External links[edit]