This is a HUGE debate in the software testing community. Really - it's massive.
You can look at this post for a story from someone who was involved (and left): http://www.eviltester.com/index.php/2008/05/04/a-short-history-of-my-iseb-software-testing-certification-involvement/ Or you could google "James Bach ISTQB" for one side, and then "Dot Graham istqb evil" for another view.
The use of the term "evil" should tell you that this is an issue which people have extremely strong feelings about. I'm not going into the debate here, because I don't think Stack Overflow is a suitable site for it. Read the links you find from searching for those terms (there is really no shortage of debate out there), and decide for yourself.
Your friend should be aware that the syllabus seems very outdated. You will not learn about anything that's happened in the last ten years or so. I don't think anyone learns much from these courses that they can apply at work - just as the other commenters say.