Woman demands refund for wrong degree

February 15, 2017
Jessica Wilson
Jessica Wilson

A woman has been left feeling cheated after she was accepted at a university to study for a particular degree, but was awarded a completely different degree at the end of her tenure.

"I enrolled in 2009 at The Mico University and was pursuing a bachelor of science degree in computer studies. On the day I went to collect my degree, I'm presented with a bachelor of education degree," Jessica Wilson told THE STAR.

She said she is now demanding a full refund of her tuition of $584,000 from the university, as an education degree is useless in her career as an information technology professional.

"These people are ruining my career on a broader scale. If I go out into the world and apply for a job in information technology, nobody is going to pick the girl with a teaching degree over others with a bachelor of science degree," Wilson lamented.

The 29-year-old, who attended Edwin Allen High School in Clarendon, had worked in information technology and decided to pursue a bachelor of science degree, which she said was being advertised at The Mico University at the time.


Acceptance letter


Wilson said she started noticing inconsistencies with the university's programme early on. She said she applied for a degree in computer education, then her acceptance letter said she was awarded a place to study for a degree in information technology. However, upon paying her tuition and registering, her programme was named as bachelor of science in computer studies, and remained that way throughout her studies.

Despite the inconsistencies, Wilson said she continued her studies, assuming the discrepancies were because the institution was in the midst of its transition from a teachers' college to a university.

Wilson, who was working part-time, managed to complete her studies in 2014, but much to her dismay the school awarded her with a bachelor of education with specialisation in computer science degree, despite her being enrolled for a bachelor of science in computer studies degree.

She said 10 others had completed the programme, but unlike her, they were pursuing careers in teaching, so they did not have a problem with the degree they received in the end.


Teaching degree


Wilson expressed her grouses to The Mico University's Registrar and the University Council of Jamaica. Both institutions indicated, among other things, that she should have known she was enrolled in a teaching institution, and therefore would be awarded with a teaching degree.

Displeased with the response and having lost faith in Jamaica's education system, Wilson sold her apartment and went to London to complete her master in computer science degree. She has now returned to the island to pursue her grouses against The Mico University.

When contacted, the Mico University's Public Relations Department yesterday told THE STAR that they are unaware of the case and will be conducting their investigations.

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