The New York Times’ report last month on fake diploma scams, including allegations that many people have been affected here in the UAE, is an important reminder for American and international students interested in any of the burgeoning number of distance education opportunities.
While the New York Times editorial board has encouraged Congress to pay more attention to the problem, international students should be aware that the American higher education system will likely always be more decentralized than other countries. The fifty States license both public and private institutions of higher education, but generally allow the institutions a wide range of independence and autonomy. This freedom and flexibility has fostered some of the best universities in the world, of course, but it does mean that students must research their options before making such an important investment.
It can be especially complex for international students to sort through the amazing array of high quality choices, but U.S. Embassy Abu Dhabi is happy to make resources available to prospective students of all ages. The embassy website offers helpful information on study in the United States, including a primer on the all-important topic of accreditation and suggestions on how to sort through distance learning opportunities. EducationUSA, the official government source for information on U.S. higher education for international students, offers both a helpful website and student advisors in embassies and consulates around the world. If you prefer an in-person discussion, our EducationUSA advisors in Abu Dhabi and Dubai stand ready to schedule an appointment.
Your education belongs to you. Make sure it is an investment that you can take pride in, the right step forward for the career of your dreams.