It was her last day of class and Leida Ruvina was getting suspicious.

The Albanian student had just finished the first module in what was purported to be a doctoral program co-administered by Slovenia’s Euro-Mediterranean University, but the place didn’t look like much of a university.

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The Ph.D. program was bogus and Mifsud would soon be ousted in a scandal.

It didn’t have a campus; the room she was sitting in had been rented from a local tourism school in the Slovenian spa town of Portoroz. She didn’t have a matriculation number, the code used by educational institutions to track students’ progress. And the French translation of “Euro-Mediterranean” in the university’s seal was misspelled.

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She raised her hand to ask the university’s president what was going on. Joseph Mifsud, a paunchy middle-aged administrator with an easy manner and a graying widow’s peak, assured Ruvina that everything was in order, complimented her on her English and offered to advise her on her dissertation.

“If you want, I can be your mentor,” she recalled him telling her.

Mifsud, however, was in no position to be anyone’s mentor. The Ph.D. program was bogus and Mifsud would soon be ousted in a scandal.

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