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Greenwich University (Norfolk Island)

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Founded  1972
Headquarters  Norfolk Island
Greenwich University (Norfolk Island) httpswebbsitecomimagesGreenwichUjpg

Greenwich University was a controversial distance learning institution, founded in 1972 in Missouri (at this time, it was known as the International Institute for Advanced Studies), in operation from 1990 to 2003 in Hawaii—1998 to 2003 under different ownership—and from 1998 to 2002 in Norfolk Island, Australia. It has never been recognized by an accrediting body of the federal Department of Education in the United States and was recognized only for a short time by the state of Queensland, Australia. In 2000, the Norfolk Island school was called a degree mill by the Sydney Morning Herald, and in 2002, legislation was passed by then Education Minister Brendan Nelson to prevent further operation.


Accreditation status

According to the then Australian Federal Government Department of Education, Science and Training, "Between 30 June 1998 and 2 December 2002, Greenwich University (Norfolk Island) degrees were lawfully awarded under legislation approved by the Norfolk Island Government, using its powers of self-government. While the Commonwealth Minister for Territories assented to legislation, this does not mean that Greenwich University awards were ever recognized by the Federal Government of Australia." In January 1999, the university requested accreditation under the Australian Qualifications Framework. In response, the then Australian government set up a review committee to investigate the suitability of Greenwich University for accreditation. The committee returned recommendations that Greenwich University:

"not be listed on the registers of the Australian Qualifications Framework because the standard of its courses, quality assurance mechanisms, and (sic) its academic leadership fail to meet the standards expected of Australian universities."

On 2 December 2002, the Federal Government enacted legislation to regulate the use of the title university and the delivery of higher education in Australia's external Territories. This legislation overrode the operation of the Greenwich University Act 1998 (Norfolk Island). From this date, the Act is of no effect.


The Greenwich distance learning program relied on a core group of U.S. based academics who were members of the faculties of well-known U.S. universities such as University of Pennsylvania and University of Colorado. For example, some psychology doctorate candidates were mentored by eminent American psychologists, including Stanley Krippner and Robert Sardello. All students for graduate degrees had to submit proof of baccalaureate degrees from accredited universities. They also submitted a prospective study program for their thesis and, once that program was approved by a three person faculty panel, they were assigned a faculty member in the U.S. as their faculty advisor. The students then took selective courses in the U.S. in their speciality, consulted with their faculty advisors, designed and completed an independent research project and wrote a thesis which had to be approved by their faculty advisor and the university advisory panel. Later, some external academics withdrew their association with Greenwich University and a few criticized its operation.

Before relocating to Norfolk Island in 1998, Greenwich University was based in Missouri, California and Hawaii, initially operating under the title International Institute for Advanced Studies in California. Neither institution was recognized by an accrediting body of the United States Department of Education. In 1990 John Bear, who was previously affiliated with the International Institute for Advanced Studies in California, became president of Greenwich University, then located in Hilo, Hawaii. Greenwich University in Hawaii closed for financial reasons at the end of 2003.

Notable alumni

  • Elizabeth Quat, a member of the Legislative Council of Hong Kong, claimed to have received her Bachelor of Business Administration, Master of Business Administration and Doctor of Philosophy in Management degrees from a certain "Greenwich University". On 11 April 2014, notable shareholder activist David Webb published an article revealing that Elizabeth Quat's purported qualifications were obtained from Greenwich University (Hawaii/Norfolk Island) instead of the much better-known University of Greenwich.
  • References

    Greenwich University (Norfolk Island) Wikipedia

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