Skip to main content

Reply to "Dr. Politics redux - by TK."

Letter: Nicolette Henry attending fake university with taxpayers’ money


I am pursuing a doctoral degree with a distinguished university and I struggle financially to pay the tuition and other fees. It is also a challenge to meet the high academic standards set by the university which includes exhaustive and comprehensive research.

According to one of Guyana’s online news sites, Junior Ministers of Education and Public Infrastructure, Nicolette Henry and Annette Ferguson, are currently pursuing studies in the United States and United Kingdom, respectively and have racked up $3.3 million so far. Other beneficiaries include former Education Ministry Chief Education Officer, Olato Sam, currently pursuing education policy studies in Jamaica to the tune of $946,000; and the daughter of the former Education Minister, Alicia Roopnaraine, was listed as a first year psychology student in the UK, with a Guyana Government scholarship valued at $2.5 million.

Ms Henry has had the audacity to place a “Dr” in front of her name though she has not completed the academic requirements.

Her justification for placing those letters before her name was because, as she claimed, “I am a doctor of scholar…at a Laureate University in the US”. I called the contact number given at that school website (1-866-452-8732) and I was directed to a “Walden University.” I inquired how I could become a “doctor of scholar” and the person at the end of the phone informed me that there is no such entity.

I queried about doing a PhD in public health. I asked if they would consider an undergraduate degree from another country accompanied with an incomplete Master’s degree from a small, unrecognised college. I could not get a straight answer and was eventually directed to a website that required my details. It became obvious quickly that this appeared to be a sham school after spending hours trying to get straight forward information.

I did a bit of research into this ‘university’ and discovered it is a virtual diploma mill. In other words, if you pay the hefty tuition and other fees, you are virtually slated to get a piece of paper that says “Dr” besides your name. See reviews of the institution at

Students who attended that institution commented: “The school is unprofessional; they do not reply to emails”; “they are interested only in getting your money, not educating you”; “they keep you enrolled for many years to take your money” and “the institution is a diploma mill to get a doctorate without doing any work.”

It is a blatant disregard for the taxpayers by the APNU Government – especially in a poor country such as Guyana, to dole out millions of dollars on scholarships to favoured persons connected with the Government. The situation becomes more asinine considering the dubious nature of the “Laureate University” (Walden) which appears to be a factory to embellish one’s name with “Dr” – and that which comes at a premium price.

Taxpayers need a detailed report of what each scholarship recipient has accomplished academically so far, what projects have been completed, curriculum details, requirements of the institution to gain a doctorate, research undertaken, and the title of the dissertation.

Where are those who assumed the roles as the conscience of Guyana? Why are they silent on this matter?

Devanand Bhagwan