Brainy Battersea dog gets Master's degree from American University of London
Dogs have been used to nab drugs dealers, find weapons and hunt out missing people, but now a clever canine has picked up a Master's degree.
Pete, a four-year-old lurcher at Battersea Dogs and Cats Home, was handed the Master's in Business Administration (MBA) by the American University of London (AUOL) after being enlisted to help in a BBC Newsnight investigation into bogus courses.
Programme makers were looking into how easy it is for even a dog to gain a postgraduate qualification in exchange for money.
Hundreds of UK senior executives have forked out for the same diplomas to add extra letters after their names.
Investigators found the hound could have been made a master within two weeks for the sum of £4,500, without having to do any work at all.
The AUOL website claims it is a pioneer of distance learning, offering degrees and post-graduate qualifications in business, IT, law, education and liberal arts, humanities, and English.
Universities need to be recognised by Parliament to hand out British degrees, but it is legal for an institution to give the impression it is run in the UK when in reality it is overseas.
AUOL appears to be based in London, but is actually incorporated in St Kitts and Nevis in the Caribbean which is stated on their website.
AUOL said in a statement to Newsnight: "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. Many graduates go on to higher education or hold important positions on the strength of our degrees."
Bemused staff at the animal charity are hoping the qualification will help attract some owners for the intelligent pooch, who has been in the home for 133 days.
Rob Young, head of dog re homing, said: "To have a dog with a Master’s degree in our midst is certainly a first for Battersea and we’re as proud as punch of Pete and his astounding intellect."
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