Would you be fooled into convinced that the University of Devonshire existed? How do you need to own a qualification through the University of Wexford? Or does graduating from the University of Palmers Green appeal?
They were all trading names in the Fake diploma & transcript, create with websites resembling they were licensed universities. Thankfully, these fake institutions have long since been shut down, although the qualifications they issued can still maintain use.
And also this is simply the tip of iceberg, because new fake universities appear all the time. The process to put together a fake university might be easy – a convincing website name with an educational website installed from your template should do it. And with the addition of relevant text, sometimes plagiarised directly from a true university website, the deception is finished.
Recently, more than 40 websites awarding fraudulent and worthless degrees to UK students were closed down within a higher education crackdown. The websites allowed those desperate enough, to fork out money for the fake certificate, which will state they had achieved anything approximately doctorate level qualifications.
Many of the websites shut down by the Higher Education Degree Datacheck used names near to those of real universities – like the supposed “Stafford University”. This seemingly operated on the laurels of your legitimate Staffordshire University.
During my 10 years working in academic integrity research, I’ve find many methods students use to claim qualifications they don’t deserve. My work towards contract cheating, where students pay others to finish their assessments, revealed a network of students looking to produce their degree one fake assignment at any given time. Investing in a whole qualification outright goes past this, circumventing any chance that students have of learning.
Fake universities and diploma mills operate with various amounts of subtlety and sophistication. Some fake universities claim to be able to issue awards based on “life experience”. For a fee, they allow individuals to demonstrate that they’ve already gained the skills necessary for a qualification – and they also issue a certificate to prove this.
Other fake universities set their internet site up to resemble a real university. Some issue assignments to students. The assignments may do not be marked, but tend to fool people into thinking these people were having a legitimate course. Many fake universities dispense with pretence and just ask for payment to have an award.
But a more elaborate business model employed by a compact group of fake universities has additionally emerged. These offer subscriptions where they keep up to date the pretence that the fake qualifications are legitimate. They also have been found to supply services to make sure that that qualifications they awarded exist, accompanied by fake job references.
It’s also easy to invest in a fake degree certificate for a real university. This certificate often looks just like the real thing. Fraudsters with use of high quality 12dexppky equipment can produce these to order. They may even add the elaborate seals and holograms located on the real documents.
Some sites declare that these certificates are only “novelty items”, there is however no text on the purchased certificates to suggest this. And is particularly feasible for people with desktop publishing skills and entry to templates or photographs of real degree certificates to knock up their very own convincing fake versions.
With employability at the forefront of many universities, this is basically the link using the commercial world where the danger of fake degrees needs to be keenly considered. Once a company is taking with a graduate worker who cannot deliver, they are going to not want to engage using that university in the future. Fake degrees bring together a specific chance of problems for university reputation.
Being a sector, we have to do more to combat fake universities and fake degrees. The main work undertaken from the Higher Education Degree Datacheck is a good start, but awareness should go further. Every university needs to understand about the imposters trading on its name, along with the sites offering fake qualifications claiming being from that university.
Employers too must shoulder some responsibility when recruiting staff. They ought to not only take every candidate and each document at face value. UK universities offer a service where qualifications could be verified. Some offer this verification directly. Other universities refer employers to the Advanced Schooling Degree Datacheck or similar services which were setup for this purpose.