Stop varsity papers’ fraud

Tuesday March 21 2017

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Reports of fake degree certificates circulating in the job market point to a serious systemic mess in higher education.

The certificates allegedly from Inoorero University, which was deregistered two years ago after it became insolvent due to low student enrolment, are being sold to desperate jobseekers and sly politicians eager to obtain academic credentials to run for elective posts.

It is this demand for university qualification, helped by greedy and utterly unprofessional university administrators that is fuelling the rush for fake certificates.

And the reason why it has become so easy to buy the papers is that the Commission for University Education, which supervises these institutions of higher learning, lacks systems for enforcing regulations.

It is not clear, for example, how a deregistered university closes its files and ceases to operate.

There is no clear system of warning the public that a university has been shut down and should not issue degree certificates.

At a time when universities have come under intense scrutiny over quality, exams and admissions, reports of fake degrees can only serve to further discredit the reputation of our higher education.

The commission must work with security agencies to stop the shady transactions.

In the meantime, it should put out regular advisories on universities no longer in operation to safeguard the public and employers from racketeers.