Will you be fooled into convinced that the University of Devonshire existed? How would you like to own a qualification from your University of Wexford? Or does graduating from the University of Palmers Green appeal?
These were all trading names of the fake university diploma, set up with websites looking like these were licensed universities. Thankfully, these fake institutions supply long since been shut down, even though qualifications they issued may still be in use.
And that is only 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 domain address with the educational website installed from your template must do it. And with the addition of relevant text, sometimes plagiarised right from a true university website, the deception is finished.
Recently, over 40 websites awarding fraudulent and worthless degrees to UK students were closed down included in a greater education crackdown. The websites allowed those desperate enough, to fork out money for a fake certificate, which would state they had achieved anything as much as doctorate level qualifications.
Many of the websites turn off from the Advanced Schooling Degree Datacheck used names near to the ones from real universities – including the supposed “Stafford University”. This seemingly operated in the laurels of your legitimate Staffordshire University.
During my fifteen years working in academic integrity research, I’ve find many methods students use to assert qualifications they don’t deserve. My work with contract cheating, where students pay others to perform their assessments, revealed a network of students looking to develop their degree one fake assignment at a time. Investing in a whole qualification outright surpasses this, circumventing any chance that students have of learning.
Fake universities and diploma mills operate with assorted quantities of subtlety and class. Some fake universities claim in order to issue awards according to “life experience”. For the fee, they allow men and women to demonstrate that they’ve already gained the skill sets needed for a qualification – and so they issue a certificate to prove this.
Other fake universities set their site up to look like a real university. Some issue assignments to students. The assignments may not be marked, but tend to fool people into thinking these folks were going for a legitimate course. Many fake universities dispense with pretence and simply request payment to have an award.
But a more elaborate enterprise model utilized by a small number of fake universities has also emerged. These offer subscriptions where they maintain the pretence that the fake qualifications are legitimate. They have also been found to offer you services to verify that qualifications they awarded exist, together with fake job references.
It’s also possible to buy a fake degree certificate for any real university. This certificate often looks just like the genuine article. Fraudsters with use of top quality 12dexppky equipment can produce those to order. They are able to even are the elaborate seals and holograms found on the real documents.
Some sites report that these certificates are only “novelty items”, but there is however no text about the purchased certificates to suggest such a thing. Which is feasible for those that have desktop publishing skills and usage of templates or photographs of real degree certificates to knock up their own convincing fake versions.
With employability at the forefront of many universities, it will be the link using the commercial world where the possibility of fake degrees has to be keenly considered. Once an employer has gotten on a graduate worker who cannot deliver, they are going to not prefer to engage with this university down the road. Fake degrees bring along with them a clear probability of problems for university reputation.
Being a sector, we must do more to combat fake universities and fake degrees. The key work undertaken through the Advanced Schooling Degree Datacheck is a good start, but awareness must go further. Every university needs to understand about the imposters trading on its name, plus the sites offering fake qualifications claiming being from that university.
Employers too need to shoulder some responsibility when recruiting staff. They should not simply take every candidate and each and every document at face value. UK universities provide a service where qualifications can be verified. Some offer this verification directly. Other universities refer employers to the Advanced Schooling Degree Datacheck or similar services that were create for this purpose.