A private American university is setting up shop in Calgary. The for-profit University of Phoenix plans to start selling degrees in March 2005, with a $26,000 master of business administration degree as one of its first offerings.
As critics from the Canadian Federation of Students point out, diploma mills like Phoenix U. dont have a board of governors or student and faculty associations to ensure accountability and quality. The corporation is accredited by an American agency, not the Alberta government.
Phoenix U. first entered Canada six years ago with a campus in Burnaby, B.C. The Alberta government approved a Phoenix branch soon after, but the corporation has waited until now to expand. The corporation now has learning centres in four other B.C. communities, and is waiting for approval to expand into Ontario.
Shares of Phoenixs parent company, the Apollo Group, rose on the U.S. stock exchange with news of the corporations new branch.
In related news, a new B.C. private university has signed a 99-year lease for its future headquarters. University Canada West has rented space in a former primary school in Victoria, and will start renovations to accommodate new customers. UCW plans to offer a few classes in January 2005, but wont be up and running until next fall.