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Distance Educator Tells Court It Has No Fixed Address

The Supreme Court of British Columbia has ordered Vancouver University Worldwide (VUW) to stop granting degrees in the province. The court had upheld a suit by the B.C. provincial government that argued that for profit distance education provider VUW was breaking the province's Degree Authorization Act by offering degrees without authorization.

Vancouver maintains an office in Vancouver but has no physical presence otherwise. The Canadian news magazine Macleans pointed out that the decision exposes the nagging question of whether the location of any university which offers distance education can actually be pinpointed.

VUW president Raymond Rodgers argued that the school does not operate in B.C. "We don't conduct degree programs in B.C.," he told Macleans. "The degrees are printed in other jurisdictions and signed outside of B.C. and have been for some time."

But the Judge disagreed. "If a degree is posted in B.C. I am satisfied that it amounts to conferring a degree in B.C. although the recipient may be elsewhere," wrote Judge Stephen Kelleher.

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About the Author

Paul McCloskey is contributing editor of Syllabus.

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