Even a cursory glance would show up Herguan University in Sunnyvale, California as an institution with questionable credentials.
Close to a year ago, an investigation by a newspaper, the Palo Alto Daily News, listed it among Bay Area institutions that face questions of fraudulent visa practices, in the company of the ill-fated Tri-Valley University.
The university’s web extension is .org (as in www.herguanuniversity.org) rather than the standard.edu for educational institutions.
The website fails to mention that neither of the two courses offered, Masters in Computer Science (MSCS) and Master of Business Administration (MBA), are accredited by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA).
In a blog roll maintained by students, many of them accuse the university of extracting money from failed candidates to give them ‘grace marks’.
The university was reportedly run by the Wang family from a two-block building with hardly any students to be seen on campus at any given time.
Most of the students admit to have enrolled in the university only to be able to work in the US, in clear violation of their F1 visa status.
As per F1 visa rules, a student cannot take more than one online course per semester. At Herguan, students were allowed to enrol mainly for online courses.
They only showed up on campus for a week or fortnight’s classes. To exploit this loophole, many students obtained F1 visas to universities accredited by CHEA and sought transfer to institutes such as Herguan.
The university is also being accused of imparting sub-standard education and forcing students to pay on the smallest pretext.
At one point of time when the management wanted students to return to campus for classes, they sent an e-mail threatening serious action.