Top Saudi education officials have unrecognized PhDs

Saudi Gazette report

 As many as nine senior officials at the department of education in Riyadh are holding PhD degrees from universities not recognized by the Ministry of Higher Education, Al-Hayat newspaper reported Sunday quoting a department source.

The source, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said all senior officials obtained their PhD degrees from Columbus university in the US, which is not recognized by the ministry.

He said senior officials are using the prefix “Dr.” when signing official paperwork.

Mohammed Al-Dikhaini, spokesman for the Ministry of Education, said the ministry has been following up the issue of unrecognized certificates for many years, adding that it would prevent their holders from benefiting professionally, in getting promotions or attaining leading positions.

Education Minister Prince Faisal Bin Abdullah has directed all the ministry’s departments and regional branches not to undersign any official paper with the prefix “Dr.” if his PhD was not from a university recognized by the ministry.

The ministry has a list of fake universities, including, among others, the American University in London, Columbus and Liberty universities in the US.

Abdullah Al-Qahtani, the Ministry of Higher Education’s director in charge of authenticating university degrees, said in a recent statement that 200 offices were closed for promoting fake university degrees following a campaign conducted with the cooperation of the ministries of interior and commerce over the past three years.

He pointed out that there were also a number of graduates from foreign universities that have been visiting the ministry to have their degrees authenticated.

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