This time it’s the woeful tale of
The fraudsters (although I prefer to think of them as businesspeople who were exploiting a market niche) netted a total student debt of £4,000,000 from nearly 10,000 photocopy-alumni.
Most Uni students I’ve had the pleasure of knowing – being so cash-strapped and all – are too smart to squander such a large sum like the victims of this scam. Given £700 they would make a sound investment like buying 350 subsidised pints in the Union bar. You would not catch a real student frittering £700 away on such ephemera as degree certificates.
Of course I can't be sure just from reading the BBC article, but I have the impression that the former students who were 'totally unaware that the University of St Regis was not a legitimate academic body' have as little credibility as the 'University' itself.
Still, I'm sure a lot of the students at my school are fake, too - they put on these fancy uniforms with badges and ties and Latin mottos and call us 'Sir' or 'Miss' or 'prick', and they think that's enough to call themselves schoolboys and schoolgirls. One of our boys was arrested (not for fraud) and I later saw a social services form listing his occupation as 'schoolboy' - why not 'criminal'?
Well, I can’t sit around here all day giving you this one-to-one tuition - I’ve just had a new order come in – the school wants about 200 sets of GCSEs, A-Levels and SATs and I have to deliver them by next summer. I’d best get the photocopier warmed up. Next thing you know, teachers will be expected to do pupils' coursework for them.
Footnote: I have Googled ‘St Regis’ because I wondered if there actually is a Saint by that name. The closest I’ve found is a Saint John Francis Regis (patron saint of lace makers – thank goodness for him) but most alarmingly I am seeing hotels, a ski-resort, a ‘Mohawk tribe’ and a Catholic University in Colorado all going by the name ‘St Regis’. How will we ever be able to trust what we read on the internet again? Even if it says ‘BBC’ at the top? Even if it says ‘University of Wholesome Socks’?
Next week: serialisation of Hitler's dog's diary.