Six degrees of acquisition

May 3, 2012

Is the academy aware that by logging on to eBay, one can purchase an embossed degree certificate with seal, in any subject or classification, from a range of academic institutions? The "seller" also offers reference letters, university transcripts and a university certificate verification letter. As an alumnus of two of the institutions illustrated on the site, I find this alarming. As the partner of an academic, I find this tempting!

I am about to purchase a PhD in toxicology for £10. What do you think my chances are of appearing on Silent Witness? I also wondered about a degree in Classics: what's the best place for such a degree?

Roy Browne PhD, MSc, BSc, MA, PGCE, DPhil (in order of purchase), via email

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