‘All of us can be harmed’ Update on Axact and Diploma Mills

Over the past few years I have written a great deal about groups such as Must University, California Paramount and the Axact scandal. Since the raid on Axact headquarters there has been an attempt to prosecute Shoaib Ahmed Shaikh the CEO of Axact. He was arrested on May 27, 2015 after the May 17th edition of The New York Times published an in-depth report exposing the fake degree business. However since then, he has been out on bail and never gone to trial.

There has been some progress in convicting others. Umair Hamid, a senior Axact official was arrested in the United States. According to the Pakistan paper Dawn  and numerous other papers in North America he pled guilty, sentenced him to 21 months in prison, and levied a fine of $5,303,020 for his role in an international diploma mill scheme.

The Axact operations sold phony degrees worldwide and generated a 1/2 billion dollars in sales or more. In a recent article by Canada’s CBC titled All of us can be harmed’: Investigation reveals hundreds of Canadians have phoney degrees,  it revealed more than 800 Canadians could have purchased a fake degree.  In the Middle East, ten’s of thousands were sold as legitimate degrees and the overall worldwide estimate is Axact sold over 200,000 of these documents.

The question is why Axact has not been convicted in Pakistan? The former special public prosecutor of the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) Zahid Jamil said that the case against Axact was very strong but it was not presented in court. Many of the people who worked on the case and multiple prosecutors from resigned from the case and left the FIA. There has been some articles published that indicated many prosecutors, investigators and families were threaten and rather endanger themselves, they resigned.

Unfortunately diploma Mills are still operating and selling degrees in the Middle East and elsewhere.  I would suggest If you are contacted by phone or email by a group offering you an opportunity to finish your degree be it Bachelor’s, Master or Ph.D be cautious and before accepting ANY offer.  Find out a great deal more about the school. For example, if you are in the Middle East go to the higher education publication Al Fanar and check their site Monitoring Quality in Arab Higher Education.  This will show you about accredited schools by country. In other countries Google search the school and check very closely who is giving accreditation. Even some agencies could be bogus so Google them as well.

A simple rule of thumb in checking if a school is legitimate or a diploma mill:

  • Consider the cost of the degree
  • What is required to obtain the degree.

If it’s cheap and you do little work to obtain the degree then question if it’s a bogus school.  Do not lie to yourself. The danger you risk is if you choose to get such a degree that is likely from a diploma mill and you present it to an employer who discovers it is bogus, you may well be fired and if an expat could be in some cases, sent home or arrested. Additionally many of these schools once you have signed up and received payment will want more money. If you don’t do it they have been known to threaten to expose you to the government or your employer. Is it really worth taking a chance?

For further information on questionable or bogus schools that are promoting such degrees go to my article Fake degrees: Nixon U and Paramount California U are back. I receive a number of comments on schools you may wish to avoid.



A world leader in helping American colleges and universities connect with overseas students and institutions, adds bandwidth to help assure our clients’ success.

BLOOMINGTON, Ind.Aug. 23, 2017  — Edu Alliance Group Inc., a world leader in helping American colleges and universities connect with overseas students and institutions, adds bandwidth to help assure our clients’ success.

These are difficult times for those who believe foreign student exchange plays an important role in education. In an environment increasingly challenging to immigrants, competitive colleges and universities are looking for ways to establish and maintain international educational partnerships. Edu Alliance helps develop strategic plans for institution-wide internationalization, establish the international relationships necessary to mount a successful program, and to assess and quantify the effect of those programs once implemented.

We focus on developing international strategies for higher education between the United States and the Middle East and south Asia.  We help develop new methods to implement internationalization including establishing active partnerships and alliances in many regions of the world.

We’re proud to welcome to the Board of Directors of our US firm:

Chet(1)Dr. Chester Haskell was founding executive director of the Harvard Academy for International and Area Studies and also served as Executive Director of the Harvard Center for International Affairs. He is currently engaged in quality assurance and accreditation, serving as a consultant to the Council of Higher Education Accreditation (US) and the Council on International Quality Group (US). He served as a peer reviewer for the WASC Senior Colleges and University Commission (WSCUC) assessing institutions in California and internationally (DubaiAbu DhabiIndiaMexico). He has served several years on the international advisory committees of ANECA (Spain’s national accreditation body) and ACAP (the accreditor for the autonomous region of Madrid). He was President of the Monterey Institute of International Affairs, and Cogswell Polytechnical College.

Dr. Haskell’s focus is international higher education, accreditation, organizational management, faculty relations, curriculum development, fundraising, alumni affairs, and external relations. He has led consulting efforts working with universities in several countries including the United States (University of California, San Diego), Mexico (Universidad Anahuac), Holland (University Medical Center, Utrecht), Spain (Universidad Internacional de La Rioja), Brazil (Universidade Tiradentes

Dr. Haskell joins Edu Alliance as a full partner and member of the Board of Directors.

Senthil 2 copyDr. Senthil Nathan is the Managing Partner and Co-Founder of Edu Alliance Ltd.  based in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. He is the former Deputy Vice Chancellor/Vice Provost of the Higher Colleges of Technology in the UAE, an international institution with 17 campuses and faculty from across the globe. He has consulted on the establishment and operation of international education and training with institutions in the UAE, United StatesCanadaIndia, and several African nations. The President of IndiaAbdul Kalam, presented him with the Distinguished Alumni Award from the Indian National Institute of Technology, and he is the Chairman of the Board of Trustees for Livingston University in Uganda. His areas of expertise include Academic Program Development and Management, Policy Formulation, Budget Planning and Management, Institutional Effectiveness, Educational Planning and Evaluation, International Collaborations, Strategic Planning and Implementation.

He holds a PhD from Rice University in Houston, and has completed executive education programs at Harvard and MIT. Dr. Nathan joins the Edu Alliance United States operations as a member of the Board of Directors.

The addition of Dr. Haskell and Dr. Nathan to the US operations adds more than 70 years of experience at the highest levels of international education to Edu Alliance’s stable of advisors and consultants.

Dean Hoke, Managing Partner/Chairman of Edu Alliance Group, says this:

“The expansion adds breadth and depth to what we offer US colleges and universities. Whether it’s starting an international program or upgrading an existing program, we’ve got the experience, the knowledge, and the international connections to push a vision forward and demonstrate its value to institutional stakeholders.”


Edu Alliance Ltd is a higher education consulting services firm founded in 2014 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.  The US firm Edu Alliance Group was opened in 2017 in Bloomington, Indiana.  The company provides the experience and expertise colleges and universities need to expand and optimize their engagement with students and institutions around the world. We help universities think strategically and creatively about their international programs.  Edu Alliance provides a diverse group of distinguished higher education professionals to research, plan, and execute international education programs.

Media Contact: Tom Johnson, Excellent Prospects LLC, 502-419-8204, Tom@ExcellentProj.com