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Published by Afterschool.my on Mar 09, 2021, 02:02 pm
Just recently, a private university located in the northern state of Himachal Pradesh, India, has been caught selling fake degrees to over 36,000 individuals from all over the world. This university has been successfully selling fake degrees as early as 2009. To date, over 40,000 fake degrees have been sold from a price range of 100,000 to 300,000 rupees (RM5,581-RM16.744). Only about 5,000 degrees issued were authentic. Due to the deception and fraud committed by this university, a huge number of legitimate graduates are forced to face the consequences.
Such incidents are not new. We have heard about fake academic certificates for a long time now and we used to think that it only happens in certain countries. Unfortunately, it has reached the shores of Malaysia decades ago. This is not a trivial issue and incidents like this questions the integrity of the entire education system in the country.
To make matters worse, many politicians have been found guilty of fabricating their degree. Not just politicians, one of the English language newspaper report found that individuals can easily add “Dr” to their names by just paying RM8,000. Upon investigation, it was found that a man claiming to be a Datuk offered this title along with a conferment ceremony to anyone who could afford to pay this sum of money.
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On that account, let us look at the three primary sources where fake degrees can be obtained and how this issue is being addressed by the Ministry of Education (MOE).
1. Third Parties
Fabricating a fake degree has become so easy. It is just one Google search away. One of the top websites would be phonydiploma.com. It is an international site, however, it offers you a wide range of certificates from a list of local universities including University Teknologi Malaysia and Multimedia University. Some of these third party websites provide you with templates so you could download and fill it up the way you want it, including choosing your own CGPA and modules. In this case, the university is unaware. It is the most popular form of forgery.
2. Unaccredited Universities
Another common form of forgery is by unaccredited universities. These universities are crafty and manipulative as they name their institutions to sound almost identical to the real accredited universities. Hence, those who enrolled are unaware as they go through the entire process of degree completion while spending a huge amount of money only to find out that their degree is unrecognized later on.
3. Accredited Universities
This may come as a surprise for you. Some accredited universities are also involved in selling fake degrees. They put the reputation of their university on the line and prepare degrees as requested by the customer. If you are wondering how it is done? It can be done in a snap. The university has its own registrar who is required to key in data and send in the list of graduates to the ministry employee. The ministry employee will then add these information into the ministry database. When human element is present, there is high possibility of fraud occurrence. They can easily add fake names to the list. Its a very detrimental form of forgery since it is harder to detect than forgeries by third parties and unaccredited universities.
All things considered, there is a dire need to solve this issue. Imagine you are in need of a doctor to spare your life, and the only doctors available are fake doctors who knows nothing about using the right treatment and medicines. Likewise, picture yourself using constructions and bridges that are built by bogus engineers. Yes! It can be petrifying.
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What is Malaysia Doing?
Malaysia is aware and takes this issue very seriously. A consortium has been formed in collaboration with several public universities to study and implement the blockchain technology known as e-Scroll. A blockchain technology allows anyone to check if your degree is verified. All certificates will be printed with QR code and the blockchain application will be able to scan and retrieve information of any Malaysia University graduates. The information includes name, full transcript, date of graduation and class of degree. Most importantly, the blockchain application eliminates human element as data is encrypted automatically, giving no way for manipulation.
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In conclusion, there may be many researches conducted in a bid to condemn and criticize the true value of degrees. Fact remains that a degree may not be sufficient to measure one’s competency or skills, but this gives no reason for any institution or more so, third parties to sell fake degrees. In reality, attaining a degree is tough. There are certain standards that one need to achieve and fulfill in order to obtain a degree. The journey to obtaining a degree helps build mental strength and resilience, as well as moulding and shaping an individual to function effectively as a contributing citizen.
If you are planning to pursue your studies, click on the link below to find out how you can check if your courses are accredited by MQA: