Minister needs to brush up on her education
EDUCATION Minister Grace Grace has been accused of exaggerating her own education by claiming to have a master's level qualification after completing a 10-week training course on trade unions.
But Ms Grace said it wasn't her intention to misrepresent her studies and apologised if people had been misled.
The former union boss' official State Parliament biography has stated since 2007 that she has a "masters/graduate diploma level" qualification from Harvard University after completing the revered United States' institution's trade union program.
However Harvard Trade Union Program director Ailda Castillo has revealed in correspondence that the course is commensurate with executive leadership programs and participants only receive a "certificate of completion".
"In the past other universities or programs sometimes give credit for a course but the program itself is not a master's degree program," she said.
As the Opposition last night renewed calls for her sacking, an unrepentant Ms Grace denied her biography was misleading and vowed she had no intention of changing the details.
"Hindsight is a wonderful thing," she told The Courier-Mail.
"That was not my intention and I have never claimed to have a master's degree.
"But the course was pitched at that level."
Ms Grace said she completed the course 27 years ago while she was an industrial officer with the Queensland Council of Unions and the course she undertook was far more intensive than the current five-week program run by Harvard under the same name.
She denied the wording of her education qualifications, which also appear on her personal website, was incorrect.
"I am sorry if people have been misled," she said.
"But that is not what I have said.
"It doesn't say I have a master's or a graduate diploma."
Ms Grace insisted course participants were told the content was similar to what master's students undertook and they received lectures from the same facility members, including famed philosopher Noam Chomsky.
"We had some very high level lecturers," she said.
However, Ms Grace conceded she did not have any material to support her claim the course was "master/graduate diploma Level" and did not know any other participant who had publicly described it in a similar way.
"That was the level they were telling us when we applied for it," she said.
"It was an incredible course and the content was at that higher level."
However, Opposition education spokesman Jarrod Bleijie said Ms Grace had been caught out falsely claiming a tertiary qualification.
"The rotten culture in the Department of Education stems from having a minister who is a phony and a fraud, who waves around a fake Harvard degree," he said.
"It's important that the Queensland public has confidence in our education department and sacking Grace Grace is the only way to restore that confidence."
Originally published as Minister needs to brush up on her education