St. Clements University and the Globalization of Education

Back on June 23, I posted about the World Association of Universities and Colleges (WAUC). In this posting, I included St. Clements University. In addition, I posted on Dave’s ESL Cafe about St. Clements and the WAUC. The Administrative Director of St. Clements, David Le Cornu, wrote to inform me that this is no longer correct. It does appear that St. Clements has been removed from the website of the WAUC. Dr. Le Cornu told me that the school dropped their accreditation on June 30, so I was technically incorrect when, on July 20, I stated that they were accredited by the WAUC.

Dr. Le Cornu’s letter was quite long and contained a number of other comments and corrections concerning my posting. It was a personal letter to me and was not posted on my blog or any other website, so I will not post its contents here. Some of the points he raised, such as St. Clements affiliation, are valid, and I will correct any mistaken assumption about this among my readers. Others were quite strange and dealt with points whose relevance I can not understand. If anyone would like further elaboration on my comments, please let me know, and I will fill in the details.

Dr. Le Cornu also attempted to inform me about the status of some of the other schools listed as members of the WAUC. In particular, he noted that Universidad Internacional De Las Americas, Freie Und Private Universtiate Sersi, and The International University of Graduate Studies were legitimate schools, even calling one of them a “major” school.

I have great trouble accepting that these schools are universities in the sense that I think of a university. I could go on and on about the size and nature of their websites, but the real reason I have doubts is that they are members of the WAUC. Why would a real university need such accreditation?

There is one reason why a real school could need such accreditation. Universities in developing countries are seriously short of resources. They may not be able to meet the accreditation standards of the larger, more selective international bodies for accreditation of higher education. As a result, they join whatever body will accept them. The same is probably true for universities that accredit themselves with the agencies associated with the governments of underdeveloped nations. For example, Dr. Le Cornu stated that the International University of Graduate Studies (which does not have a webpage, also see this) is accredited by the St. Kitts Government Accreditation Agency

This leaves unanswered the question of why Freie Und Private Universtiate Sersi or for that matter St. Clements would want WAUC accreditation. Afterall, they are European-based schools. What would they think they are purchasing with their years of accreditation by the body?

Let me answer this question by stating what I now believe about the nature of education at St. Clements. I believe that St. Clements is a real school. It does not print diplomas and there is a very real level of achievement that they demand from their graduates. The degree is thus not worthless, as I believe are the diplomas of some other WAUC schools. But St. Clements does not meet the standard of higher education that the major schools in Canada, the USA, etc. must meet. It has a standard, which is very real, but it is a standard that is useful for its alumni who generally reside in what is collectively called the Third World. While a St. Clements degree may be useful for its alumni in Nigeria and Sierra Leone, it is almost certainly not very useful for anyone planning to work or teach in a more developed region of the world.

None of this should be surprising. Major world-class schools are now reaching out to find the top students in the world regardless of their nationality. They are doing so because one does not need to be the citizen of a developed nation to be a world-class student. The down-side of all this is that there are students in developed nations whose standard of ‘studentness’ is only suitable for a Third World university. In fact, some university teachers whom I know will tell you that there are far too many students attending really good schools just because they are the citizens of developed nations.

While I am not sure that attendance in schools such as St. Clements, that are functionally Third World universities, should eliminate someone from the workplace or the classroom, I do believe that employers, students, and potential students should realize that this is what these institutions stand for.

My personal feeling about St. Clements, as I said above, is that it is a real school, but I still maintain the belief that I stated in the conclusion to my original posting; I can not speak for others, but I would not hire someone based on educational attainment at St. Clements alone.



Given that the London Teachers Training Centre is closely affiliated with St Clements University, what view do you hold about those with TESOL diplomas, for example, from LTTC – and, if negative, please provide supporting evidence if possible (I’m currently studying for a TESOL diploma with LTTC and would venture that the course is extremely rigorous – so I’d be very disappointed if my subsequent diploma were to be viewed as worthless…).

Martin has to be realistic about this. There are many certificate/diploma programs that are not accredited, such as the Boland School.
or TEFL International
But lack of accreditation does not mean that a certificate or diploma is not respected in the industry. The problem with St. Clements is that it lacks even this standard of respect.

I don’t know anything about LTTC other than it is run by St. Clements. That alone would make me wonder about the quality. I may be all wrong about this — who knows — but I assume that the diploma they grant is about as useful as any other diploma. It might be enough to qualify you for a work permit to teach English in some countries, but it’s unlikely that it will be recognized by major commercial schools concerned about these matters. I doubt that many language teaching programs in Australia will recognize it, but once again, who knows?

I’d really like to know what’s happned to the grads of places like St. Clements and LTTC. Do they have job?

Keep in mind that the language teaching industry has very low entry-level requirements. I don’t doubt that you can find a job somewhere, I am not so certain that a diploma from LTTC will make that much difference.

Who is the writer who writes this pompous mischievous piece? The nameless person who hides in the dark and plays with words hoping to catch the weak sentiments of the popular ignoramus!

A graduate has not has the achievement proven if he has not shown his real original discovery even if he has graduated from a top university. Employers want to know what you can offer or what discovery you can produce, not just a diploma from a so-called a “top” university where the ego asks for a lot of money and contribute little.

I would prefer to employ a person from a less famous university as it will save me a lot of inefficient salaries. Having thus learnt this lesson as an employer, I have become wiser to choose people carefully without getting caught by the claim – from world-class universities.

Scott Sommers,

I just learnt that there is one St. Clements doctorate student earning RM10,000 per month and holding CEO post at a manufacturing firm. That’s a huge sum by the Malaysian standard. Something to envy about. Can you respond to this statement?

If you wanna know the name, I can give it to you but of course with his permission.

My response? You seem to have missed my point. I think you need to reread my original post.

I refer to this point:

“….. I can not speak for others, but I would not hire someone based on educational attainment at St. Clements alone.”

This personal point reflects the essence and truth about your REAL SELF and INTENT – which you do not want to be too obvious! It is your weak negative sentiment at work in your unconscious belief. There are still some other such negative fringe indications.

I suggest you better not be too specific by naming St. Clements University alone where there are many more non-traditional universities in the world. People are questioning tradtional university qualities nowadays.

Quite frankly, this discussion is getting boring. To me and most of readers, my points are self-evident and perfectly clear. As I have said many times, St. Clements, and many other schools of this type, are Third World universities. As such, their certification means very little. There may be good employees with a St. Clements diploma, just as there are many good employees who are high school graduates. But certification from St. Clements has very little meaning as an indication of mastery of the body knowledge and skills that university graduates are expected to have. If it were any different, St. Clements would never have needed the accreditation of organizations like the World Association of Universities and Colleges.

thanx guys i was searching for information abt st.clements uni. but i am still confused whether i should go for st.clements uni degree.

i am in asia, a local insititute is offering st.clements degree programs(IT). guys just give me some comments….

like what r da consequences of doing this degree???…….

is it worth it???

please help me out!

Scott you posted the following:

“I don’t know anything about LTTC other than it is run by St. Clements. That alone would make me wonder about the quality.

I don’t believe you are correct in say that LTTC is ‘run’ by St. Clements. They are seperate. St. Clements only accepts the diploma from LTTC as its foundation work.

Andy makes it sound like LTTC and St. Clements have only a marginal relationship. This is not true. The LTTC website states that, “L.T.T.C. is also a partner school of St Clements University and offers the M.A. in TESOL on behalf of the University.” The Principal of LTTC is Dr. Phyllis Vannuffel. While the LTTC website does not state so, her Ph.D. was granted by St. Clements. I wonder how many other instructors at LTTC received their qualifications from St. Clements.


Perhaps I misunderstood. My impression was that while the two are partners they are seperate entities, i.e. the diploma is issued by LTTC and the M.A. is awarded by St. Clements.

But you’ve asked a very good question: “I wonder how many other instructors at LTTC received their qualifications from St. Clements.”

I thought their lead tutor had a Trinity qualification but I stand to be corrected if I’m wrong.

Dear Mr. Sommers,

This is Dr. Mauricia M. Herrera from the Philippines and presently teaching in the Graduate School of Business of YU DA UNIVERSITY in Miaoli County, Taiwan. I am an accreditor of the Philippine Association of Colleges and Universities- Commission on Accreditation (PACUCOA) for almost eight (8) years now and am particularly interested about colleges and universities here in Taiwan. I am also planning to present a paper on accreditation and quality assessment to an international conference to be held in June. Can you enlighten me on the standards on international accreditation as compared to what we are doing in the Philippines:

1. We accredit by programs not the entire school.
2. There are three levels of accreditation which requires strict compliance to standards by level.
3. There is required timeframe to assess and evaluate the programs under accreditation.
4. Level II accreditation of all courses is a requirement before a college applies for university status- thus it should have a very strong foundation in the Arts and Sciences.
5. There are nine (9) areas evaluated : from Purposes and Objectives of the School, Faculty, Program of Instruction, Library,Laboratories, Student Personnel Services, Physical Plant and Facilities,Social Orientation and Community Involvement and Organization and Administration.

By the way myh area of concentration in Business Administration.

Thank you very much and hope to hear from you soon.

Dr. Mauricia M. Herrera

Professor Herrera, just talk to administrators at your school. They will be very familiar with the MOE’s procedures for reviewing schools here. The system is very strict and complex and ALL school undergo review at regular intervals. Schools are reviewed at whole school level as well as college as well as department and specific degree tracks. It is far too complex to go into detail here.

have you any branch in syria


I’m so glad to know more infromation about our university, since I’m a post graduate student in St. Clements unversity.
My hot greeting to Dr. Le Cornu, and we promise him and promise all staff to be loyal forever for our great university.


Please, please… I just need to know how legit LTTC really is.. I am enrolling in a certificate course and want to be very very sure that I will get what I pay for. The courses offered by Cambridge are quiet expensive and LTTC is one of the few colleges I can afford.
If anyone can help me, please write in quickly.

As you will read earlier in this thread, I studied for a TESOL diploma with LTTC. I don’t know how highly the LTTC diplomas are regarded in the outside world but I can vouch for the fact that the course material was very thorough and went into far more detail than many other TESOL, TSL, TFL etc courses (which I subsequently investigated) – especially the 40-hour certificate courses which, to my mind, should never be accepted as evidence that the student can teach English, not least because the ones I’ve looked at focus more on methodology than knowledge of the English language. I received straight As for all my TESOL modules, mainly as a result of comprehensive research over more than six months, but it would also be possible for someone to pass the course at a lower level – and that, unfortunately, applies to all courses at all seats of learning (as far as I’m aware). So I guess the answer to your question is that I’m not aware of any reason to believe an LTTC diploma is regarded higher or lower than a similar award from any other school. But how much you learn and how well you prepare yourself for future employment is largely up to you – colleges like LTTC simply offer you the opportunity to study and learn in a structured manner, and to provide you with evidence of same at the end of your course.


I am from singapore, i am planning to take the Dip in Tesol awarded by LTTC. Can anyone advise me whether this is a good course and is it recognised internationally as i plan to teach english abroad. I read about the reviews of St clements uni. they are god and bad reviews…can someone comment or advise?

am studying in london,but the mba is awarded by st clements relevant is it compared to other universities mba.thanks

I am currently working in HK in a well known organization in Business Service sector. I earn my degree in Canada University of Toronto and had most of my education in UK. I am thinking to do an MBA and during my research, a local distance learning agency with corporate with ST Clement University catch my interest, they are working with the Southern University of Technology in China where with an attractive tuition fees, you earn a diploma and a MBA, the course only take 1 yr with 3 hours lecture every week for 10 months.

Before I apply, I am trying to research the reputation of St Clement University but seems disappointing, there aren’t many info on web about this University, would you tell me if taking a MBA at St Clement is worth it cost?

how relevant is it compared to other universities mba in US, Canada and UK?

Please response asap as course starts in Fall, i am still struggling if i should apply.


I am thinking of taking the MA in TESOL with LTTC.


One Response to “St. Clements University and the Globalization of Education”

  1. Dr Bernard Leeman Says:

    St Clements is a legal entity but awards VANITY DEGREES. These are not bogus or fraudulent, just very very substandard. St Clements’s president Davd John Cornu is coy about his own qualifications. If he does indeed have an accredited PhD why are the theses he awards PhD’s so trivial and often ludicrous?

    The head of LTTC, Phyllis Vannuffel, has a vanity PhD from St Clements. She is listed as part of St Clements in Niue.

    This week LTTC refunded fees to a disgruntled student who was about to take them to consumer affairs for false representation.

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