In 2009, when the Zambia government tried to enact a law that would require presidential candidate to be holders of academic degrees, most Zambians correctly suspected that then opposition leader Michael Sata did not hold one.
Michael Sata and his image builders at the Post newspaper responded to the challenge by claiming that Sata has a degree. Read this
Information has just emerged that he did not and that he actually enrolled at an, unrecognised (unaccredited), Internet University to pursue a Bachelors degree in Political science.
He enrolled in 2009 at the Atlantic International University (AIU) found here and describing itself as an Adult Education University.
Sata’s testimonial is published on the Internet University here
Sata made it clear in his testimonial reproduced below that his sole purpose for pursuing the degree was to take part in elections.
Below Its application form found here, Sata’s university clearly states that it is not accredited by the United States government.
Below is what it says:
|Atlantic International University is not accredited by a recognized accrediting agency or association recognized by the United States Secretary of Education. This application page allows prospective students to submit their application and enrollment fee on-line. All the information submitted is treated as confidential and will only be forwarded to the Admission Department at AIU. Note: In the United States, many licensing authorities require accredited degrees as the basis for eligibility for licensing. In some cases, accredited colleges may not accept for transfer courses and degrees completed at unaccredited colleges, and some employers may require an accredited degree as a basis for eligibility for employment.|
|Atlantic International University is accredited by the Accrediting Commission International (ACI), a private accrediting agency.|
Once you enrol on this Online unversity, there is no such thing as failing as there are no exams and each student studied his own courses and reads his own books.
The university says ‘our program does not require every student to study the same subjects and use the same books and other learning materials as every other student. Instead our online Bachelor’s programs are designed just for you.’
In December 2011, president Michael, having ‘graduated’ from the AIU, wrote to the following testimonials which has been unearthed by the Watchdog:
It is strongly rumoured that Dr. John Phiri, the PF minister of education wrote this testimonial for Sata as he also did all the work that Sata was required to do for the ‘University’.
If you want to know how other people question this ‘university’ just go to Google search engine and enter ‘Atlantic International University.
Below is what Sata submitted to his University after ‘graduating’ and winning presidential elections in Zambia:
Sata Michael Chilufya, Bachelor of Political Science –December 11, 2011
From the very beginning of my studies I understood that the main objective of the AIU Bachelors program was to shape me integrally so as to enable me to reach the optimal level in an environment full of different variables, in chaos, and in situations with plenty of changes. You will appreciate the fact that at the time I enrolled as a student in 2009 I was a leader of the main opposition political party in Zambia. We were preparing to challenge the ruling party in the 2011presidential and parliamentary elections. I was therefore excited when I learnt that the goal of the program was to seek the sustainable auto-development of the human being and his/her surroundings. I felt that I was welcome to the academic and personal challenge of self-progress.
In my studies I was also encouraged by what Carl Rogers stated: ‘The only kind of learning that can significantly influence behaviour is that which individuals discover and internalize by themselves. I cannot agree more. On this program I realized that it was essential that I understood that I was totally in charge of my own learning and performance throughout my degree program at AIU. At no time should I wait for the university before taking action regardless of the situation or circumstance.
1. I completed the Course: Communication & Investigation (Comprehensive Resume). I included all what I had done in my life and in all aspects. This course helped me to reflect on my journey of life up to this point. Page 96
2. I provided proof or evidence for my statements/claims in the resume like certificates, diplomas, letters, photographs, etc. Documents were scanned in and uploaded through my Student section as the assignment named Organization Theory or Portfolio. Page 124.
3. I filled out and forwarded my assignment named Academic Evaluation (Questionnaire). This course gave me an opportunity to make choices based on my honest thinking between answers a, b, and c. Page 130.
4. I completed and sent the assignment entitled: Experiential Learning (Autobiography) to share my life experiences with AIU from the vantage points of my personal, professional, and academic growth , particularly practical aspects of such endeavours. I looked at all this in the past, the present, and the future. Page 145
5. I needed, for the purpose of this assignment entitled Professional Evaluation (Self Evaluation Matrix), to request an evaluation of my strengths from 3 people who know me from my work, academic, and personal perspectives and on a scale of 1 (weak) to 5 (strong). The honest evaluation of the people i asked to do this task inspired me greatly. Their evaluations informed me of my areas of weakness and strength. This has greatly assisted me in building a better me. Page 148
6. For the assignment called Fundamentals of Knowledge (Integration Chart) I needed to complete the sections about the dominant, specialty and professional fields according to the model on Pages 151-162. I greatly enjoyed this assignment.
7. I filled in the boxes of the Development of Graduate Study (Guarantee of Academic Degree) according to the sample available on Pages 151-162.
8. Fundamental Principles I (Philosophy of Education) was simply an essay of about 2-3 pages on my personal view of education in general. Page 163
The second phase to me was the most challenging because I had to find time to read the books that the assignments demanded that I should read. The book THE HIDDEN CONNECTIONS was particularly difficult to read, comprehend and analyze. However, I generally enjoyed reading the books and I must admit that I learnt a lot from these assignments tabulated below.
1. The Development of College Education II (Bibliography) assignment consisted of my research of my major and a careful compilation of supporting resources needed to fulfil my academic obligations for my program. I included a variety of sources like the Internet, magazines, newspapers, etc which were no more than six years old. Page 167
2. Seminar of Cultural Development I – THE HIDDEN CONNECTIONS (ESSAY). I gained a lot of valuable lessons as I prepared the essay with a minimum of 15 pages analyzing this book written by Fritjof Capra. Page 168
3. Seminar of Administrative Development I – What tHe βL€€P Dθ ?Σ (k)πow!? (ESSAY). I prepare an essay with a minimum of 15 pages analyzing this book written by ARNATZ, William; CHASSE, Betsy & VICENTE, Mark. Page 169.
4. Seminar International Development I – IN DEFENSE OF THE GLOBALIZATION(ESSAY). I prepared and submitted an essay with a minimum of 15 pages analyzing this book written by BHAGWATI, Jagdish. Page 170
5. Seminar International Development II – HOW TO CHANGE THE WORLD: SOCIAL ENTREPRENEURS AND THE POWER OF NEW IDEAS (ESSAY). This was another title by BORNSTEIN, David, on which I prepared and submitted an essay with a minimum of 15 pages. Page 171.
6. I started researching my major thoroughly in order to become fully knowledgeable about what I needed to know about that field. This was the initial step for me to be ready to prepare and submit a plan of study for my degree program. Such a plan wasbased on my life experiences and future goals, was called Curriculum Design. Page 172
7. I uploaded my planned assignments one by one into my Student section under the option ―Curriculum Proposal, of course, they had to match with what I had included in my Curriculum Design course and which were approved by my Academic Advisor. Page 174.
1. It began with my Thesis Proposal which was a 3-page assignment. It consisted of the description of 3 different targeted topics and a rationale for the selection of each of them. After AIU approved one of the topics, I submitted a 5-page detailed outline for the actual thesis document. Page 187.
2. The Thesis – This was the last assignment I submitted to AIU. Page 191
I want to record my profound gratitude to AIU in general and my academic advisers for the smooth guidance and exposure to the secrets of knowledge. Let me admit that the program prepared me sufficiently to face the presidential elections in my country. For me to have won the elections is testimony that AIU prepared me well. I am far better equipped now that I have completed the program than when I started it. I will always cherish AIU and will do everything in my power to be of use to AIU whenever called upon to do so.