Online college mounts legal bid to seek recognition for degrees

WARNBOROUGH College has launched a legal bid to gain official recognition from the education authorities after its application was rejected earlier in the year.The college, whose degrees were described by the National Qualifications Authority of Ireland as being “effectively worthless”, has lodged papers with the High Court to overturn the Higher Education and Training Awards Council (HETAC) decision.Warnborough College is currently operating out of a rented office on Capel Street Building and is charging fees of €14,400 for its courses. The college was originally based in offices in All Hallows College in Drumcondra, however concerns over the validity of its degrees meant that the college had to vacate the buildings last month.The college claims to have over 80 students however, the courses are not recognised by the Department of Education or in Britain. The college’s website advertises programs such as creative writing, cultural art history and ancient philosophy as well as offering Bachelors, Masters and PhD degrees.Warnborough College President, Dr. Brenden Tempest-Mogg, states on the college’s website that Warnborough college has been at the “forefront in distance learning since 1997 [and] is a pioneering institution”. The college also claims that their degrees are recognised around the world.The college, which was founded in Oxford in 1973 by Dr. Tempest-Mogg, offered study abroad programs that were aimed largely at American students. It advertised itself as “an Oxford tutorial experience”.Warborough College was forced to close in Britain in the mid 1990s after a group of American students threatened legal action, saying they had been lead to believe that they were attending Oxford University.The company then moved to Ireland in 1997 where it operated under the name of Warnborough University. It was forced to change its name to Warnborough College after the Department Of Education informed the company that its name was in breach of the 1997 Universities Act.Warnborough College has lodged papers with the High Court and a hearing could be held by 24th September.