Campus Confidential scours student unions, lecture halls and dorms for the crucial and quirky stories that make colleges and universities special. Share what you’re up to on a Friday night, learning (or not) in that lecture - and what you're looking for in a school search as a new student. Higher education reporter Maura Lerner will keep you informed.

A dog named Pete and his online MBA

Posted by: Maura Lerner Updated: October 25, 2013 - 10:35 AM

Pete the dog may not be the best student. But according to a BBC report, the American University of London  granted him an MBA based largely on a made-up account of his life, under the fake name "Pete Smith."

As part of its investigation, the BBC program Newsnight created a fake one-page resume, identifying Pete as a management consultant with 15 years experience and an undergraduate degree from a British university. "The real Pete was actually a dog living in Battersea Dogs' Home," the BBC reported.

The university - described as a distance-learning program - requires applicants to send in a photo and photocopy of their credentials, but the BBC says it simply ignored those rules when it sent in Pete's application.

The response? The university "sent 'Pete' an e-mail saying that his application for a degree based on previous experience had been successful." And that he would get his MBA degree in about two weeks, once the tuition - about $7,200 - was sent in.

When confronted by the news organization, the American University of London issued a statement saying "We are not a bogus university...and have always been upfront about our status. We have not applied for accreditation with any American, British or other official agency." But on the bright side, it said: "Many graduates go on to higher education or hold important positions on the strength of our degrees."

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