Oxford in Banja Luka…
May 16, 2012 8 Comments
Since I wrote a post last year about private universities in the Balkans, I have kept coming across some oddities in the region and beyond associated with private universities. Here is the latest:
I was surprised to see that Paneuropean University Apeiron in Banja Luka won an award from Oxford (“Oxford in Banja Luka”), but this is what its ad proclaimed (see below) on the website of B92. Imagine my surprise that this “Pan-EUropean University for Multidiscipline & Virtual Studies” achieved such recognition.
Of course, it is not quiet so simple. The award was granted by the European Business Assembly (http://www.apeiron-uni.info/). The EBA is “an independent corporation for development and management of economic, social and humanitarian collaboration.” The only connection to the University of Oxford is the location. The organisation seems mostly specialised in organising “high profile” events and handing out awards (the Socrates Awards are given out twice a year). The list of recipients strangely enough requires log in.
The organisation is interestingly linked to the following
– ICL (the International Club of Leaders, President – , UK. ICL – is the association of top-managers of the world’s leading enterprises in the middle category).
– CRE (The Club of the Rectors of Europe, President – Wil Goodheer, Austria. CRE – is an association of rectors, professors and academics from the major university and academic centres of Europe, Central Asia, the Middle East and Africa).
– OGMV (Knight Order of Grand Master La Valette, Grand Master пїЅ Professor John W.A. Netting, UK. OGMV – is a chapter of leaders from different spheres of public life that advocate for the triumph of universal human values, humanism and patronage).
– ISC (The International Socrates Committee)
The Club of the Rectors of Europe, is chaired by the rector of the International University of Vienna. This university has no website or rather its domain expired (http://www.iuvienna.edu) and is not listed among the recognized private universities in Austria (http://www.bmwf.gv.at/startseite/hochschulen/privatuniversitaeten/). However, it seems to have now become the Megatrend International University Vienna (MIUV) (http://www.megatrendvienna.at/), as the street address of the old international University and the new Megatrend are identical (http://www.efors.eu/vienna-universities-en/id/1101). However, as disclaimer on the website states ” Megatrend University owns the operations of former IU including its website only since May 7, 2011. Megatrend is in no way the legal successor of former IU or its owner, the “Verein zur Errichtung und Förderung der “The International University” and is not responsible or liable for any action or omission of them. Should you find any statements or promises of former IU on this website, this is only due to the transition process and will be changed very soon.” Nevertheless, also the Megatrend International University is not listed as a university recognised by the Austrian ministry. The new rector is a different one than the president of the “Club of Rectors of Europe”. The Club of Rectors seems to be also offering its own awards, one recently handed to Slobomir University for Quality in Higher Education (European Quality Award): http://www.spu.ba/eng/european.html
Interestingly, the International Socraties Committee (http://www.ebaoxford.co.uk/International%20Socrates%20Committee/) in charge of”determining the International EBA Award-winning nominations” includes few academics, except of the Afa Bablola University in Nigeria (which also recently got an award in Oxford: http://www.abuad.edu.ng/en), the Euro University in Estonia, a university in Armeina, Nargono-Karabakh and Georgia and Vietnam and Megatrend Universtiy in Serbia.
Of course, we don’t have the list of Socratest Award winners, as the list is not public on the European Business Assembly website. Googeling for the award, we find out that the winners around the globe, including
Forest Research Institute Malaysia
SHABAVIZ PUBLISHING COMPANY
INTERNATIONAL MARBLE CO. LLC, OMAN (highly recommended viewing: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B75CahcNk_o)
Micro Technologies India
Baku State University
Henry Herbert Lartey, Chairman of the Great Consolidated Popular Party (GCPP), Ghana
Euro College, Macedonia (http://www.eurocollege.edu.mk/vienna/index.htm)
and Megatrend University (http://www.megatrend.edu.rs/fps/str.php?bs=Istorijat&language=1)
and many many others
I recommend also viewing this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5eH8JXvNOFo&list=UUe8Tt1HLzgCdCdltjeLrp8g&index=1&feature=plcp
I leave the judgement of what this award means for the Paneuropean University in Banja Luka up to the reader.