Sitting here, considering it, I don’t actually know where my buy diploma certificate is, which is a cause of concern for two reasons. First: i am somehow absent-minded enough to operate towards something for the very best part of 36 months, merely to lose it. And secondly, that I’ve never actually needed it. Every job I’ve had since graduating – which happens to be admittedly only this particular one and cleaning toilets in a museum – I’ve got without ever having to show anybody the evidence of my qualification.
About this evidence, there is minimal part of me having studied to start with. I may too have just spent a couple of quid internet and bought myself a fake degree. Saved myself the amount of money, the tears, the endless bottles of Iceland’s Lambrucini.
Because: people really do this. Loads of everyone is buying fake degrees from fake universities. The net is filled with them. Data dropped in the week via HEDD (Advanced Schooling Degree Datacheck) revealing that over 30 fake universities are already shut down before year. With a bit of posing as actual institutions, others purporting to become online-based open learning programmes, the web has allowed an excessive proliferation of fake unis, and then there are concerns the problem is going to get worse.
But just how easy will it be? Can I actually get a degree on the internet? How many universities out you will even find real? Why am I wearing a child’s Darth Vader costume during my graduation photo? Did I even visit university?
To respond to a few of these questions, I first contacted Jayne Rowley, director of HEDD, to learn more regarding the bullshit universities around. “Well, it’s been a concealed problem,” says Jayne. “It absolutely was only really with creating the HEDD service four to five years ago that there’s been any manner of building up a national picture of degree fraud.”
HEDD is really a government-funded operation first placed in 2008, as central verification service for UK degrees – just before that, if you desired to check somebody’s degree was legit you have to get it done with the university themselves, which put a lot of employers off. “Since we went live we’ve done over 160,000 verification checks,” Jayne adds. “Which contains obviously thrown up a number of fake certificates, fake websites and queries about bogus universities.”
As outlined by Jayne, fake universities may be found in many forms. “You’ve got straightforward bogus operations, where there is not any university – they’re just setting up a website to look like a UK university. Those really are to dupe innocent potential students into thinking they’re trying to get a UK university, or make people think they are studying with a distance learning course online, when they’re not. Those reel in innocent victims.”
Some “fake students”, however, are less than innocent. One of the greatest problems fake universities present are people buying fraudulent qualifications as a way to deceive employers. “There are actually the websites that are purely established to back-up bogus certificates,” Jayne explains. “An incredibly common thing is for people with fake certificates to state, ‘Oh, you should check my certificate about the university website. Then you definitely go the web site – University of Wolverhamton without having the ‘p’ was really a popular one – enter in the particulars on the certificate, as well as a message returns saying, ‘This individual is a bonafide graduate.'”
In terms of Jayne sees it, this really is a real and growing trend. “In March this coming year, the chance Advisory Group published a report which screened 500 CVs and discovered major discrepancies with 70 percent of those,” she says, “and of all discrepancies, 28 percent had issues with educational qualifications. People genuinely don’t see lying on the CVs as being a criminal offence, yet it is.”
This reminded me from the websites that did the rounds after i was at sixth form where you can buy “novelty” ID cards that let you squeeze with the doors of nightclubs. Surely getting a degree wouldn’t be so simple?
Well yeah, actually. It took me about four seconds to land on Instant Degrees, a site that offers courses which range from Afrikaans to accounting, and all you need to do is fill a form. Above is my application for the degree in feminism – a diploma I obtained on the tender chronilogical age of seven.
Jayne describes Instant Degrees as a website just selling fake certificates and “not even bothering to pretend these are a university”. In spite of this, they can be very keen to stress how totally legal everything they feature is. Within their words: “This is a valuable free service directed at above averagely intelligent people who understand value of being able to instantly convert their existing knowledge in a degree, quickly and legally.” Which is actually a nice strategy for taking a look at it. It form of validates your dad’s mate Roger who may be constantly banging on regarding how degrees are a complete waste of time as well as how he learnt everything he knows from “the University of Life”.
Further in the bullshit scale is Canterbury University. Their homepage is above. Now, you may think you’ve heard about Canterbury University. You haven’t; you’ve read about Canterbury Christ Church University. Canterbury University is, Jayne tells me, one of the most blatant offenders still online. It even features a page where degree holders can enter into the code on the rear of their certificate as a way to “verify” their degree. But as Jayne highlights, it can be relatively easy to debunk the university’s existence. “Google street view will be your friend when tracking down bogus institutions,” she tells me. Which dexqpky12 sense if you look at a street look at Canterbury University’s supposed address.
That’s right. Ol’ Canterbury University. Nestled neatly between “Top Dogz” and “Ph Signs”. Where dreams are made.
However, if submitting the application form forms over a fake uni website seems too taxing, there’s a much easier method that’s been right under our noses all of this time: eBay.
Jayne has put this process for the test herself. “We bought some from the guy who was offering fake certificates for £6.95 with nectar points,” she explains. “They are saying ‘this is made for novelty purposes’, but they’re banned to publish certificates who have university trademarks on them; they may be still in breach of copyright. So we bought some, one is in too difficult. The certificates came plus they had holograms, signatures, but usefully the eBay seller had sent them inside an envelope having a return name and address around the back, so we handed them to trading standards. Still got the nectar points though.”
University is seeming such as an increasingly unrealistic prospect these days, so it’s no wonder everyone is searching for alternatives, especially since the grants system in the UK has additionally been scrapped. Sadly, however, the world of fake universities is just as treacherous as real ones. It might seem you’re subscribing to a perfectly legitimate Science of Feminism masters in the University of Bedford, only to discover yourself the latest victim in long-line played through the most academic hustlers inside the game. Either that, or you’re a hustler yourself, trying to blag your path onto a grad-scheme by using a make believe fake degree certificate malaysia you bought on eBay. If that’s the situation, then beware: the heads at HEDD are onto you, fresher.