Are you 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 in the University of Palmers Green appeal?
They were all trading names from the Fake diploma & transcript, put in place with websites looking like these were licensed universities. Thankfully, these fake institutions have got all long since been turn off, even though qualifications they issued can still maintain use.
Which is only the tip of iceberg, because new fake universities appear constantly. The process to put together an imitation university might be easy – a convincing domain address with the educational website installed from your template ought to do it. And with the addition of relevant text, sometimes plagiarised straight from a genuine university website, the deception is complete.
Recently, more than 40 websites awarding fraudulent and worthless degrees to UK students were closed down included in a better education crackdown. The websites allowed those desperate enough, to fork out money for the fake certificate, which may state that they had achieved anything approximately doctorate level qualifications.
Lots of the websites de-activate with the Higher Education Degree Datacheck used names close to those of real universities – for example the supposed “Stafford University”. This seemingly operated about the laurels of your legitimate Staffordshire University.
During my fifteen years working in academic integrity research, I’ve come across many methods students use to claim qualifications they don’t deserve. My work towards contract cheating, where students pay others to complete their assessments, revealed a network of students looking to build up their degree one fake assignment at the same time. Getting a whole qualification outright goes past this, circumventing any chance that students have of learning.
Fake universities and diploma mills operate with various quantities of subtlety and sophistication. Some fake universities claim so that you can issue awards depending on “life experience”. For any fee, they allow customers 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 look like a real university. Some issue assignments to students. The assignments may not be marked, but tend to fool people into thinking they were getting a legitimate course. Many fake universities dispense with pretence and just ask for payment for the award.
But a more elaborate business structure made use of by a small selection of fake universities also has emerged. These offer subscriptions where they keep up to date the pretence that the fake qualifications are legitimate. They have also been found to offer services to ensure that qualifications they awarded exist, combined with 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 premium quality 12dexppky equipment can produce these to order. They may even range from the elaborate seals and holograms found on the real documents.
Some sites claim that these certificates are just “novelty items”, but there is however no text around the purchased certificates to suggest this. And it is feasible for people with desktop publishing skills and access to templates or photographs of real degree certificates to knock up their own personal convincing fake versions.
With employability at the forefront of many universities, it is the link with all the commercial world where the possibility of fake degrees has to be keenly considered. Once a company has taken over a graduate worker who cannot deliver, they will not desire to engage using that university in the foreseeable future. Fake degrees bring together a precise risk of problems for university reputation.
Being a sector, we have to do more to combat fake universities and fake degrees. The most important work undertaken by the Advanced Schooling Degree Datacheck is a superb start, but awareness needs to go further. Every university needs to learn about the imposters trading on its name, as well as the sites offering fake qualifications claiming being from that university.
Employers too have to shoulder some responsibility when recruiting staff. They ought to not just take every candidate and each and every document at face value. UK universities provide a service where qualifications could be verified. Some offer this verification directly. Other universities refer employers for the Advanced Schooling Degree Datacheck or similar services that have been setup for this specific purpose.