Ending degree fraud

February 4, 2016

France is the latest nation to take degree fraud seriously (“French education minister announces new degree qualifications database”, 22 January), but as we’ve learned from running Higher Education Degree Datacheck (HEDD) in the UK, protecting higher education requires collaboration from universities, employers and government.

Hedd.ac.uk, which is backed by the government, already contains candidate information from 26 UK universities, allowing qualifications for a quarter of UK graduates to be verified securely online. Since launching, it has processed more than 90,000 qualification checks and identified more than 200 bogus institutions. Working with authorities here and abroad, we have seen more than 40 per cent of illicit operators reported to us since June closed down.

The number of fake institutions selling degrees far outweighs that of genuine institutions internationally, and more appear online daily. Addressing this demands collaboration. Employers must always verify qualifications. Authorities must work together internationally. The government must continue to fund and back the systems in place. And universities must act individually and collectively with clear policies on degree fraud to protect their brand, reputation and students.

Jayne Rowley
Prospects HEDD service

Send to

Letters should be sent to: THE.Letters@tesglobal.com
Letters for publication in Times Higher Education should arrive by 9am Monday.
View terms and conditions.

You've reached your article limit

Register to continue

Registration is free and only takes a moment. Once registered you can read a total of 6 articles each month, plus:

  • Sign up for the editor's highlights
  • Receive World University Rankings news first
  • Get job alerts, shortlist jobs and save job searches
  • Participate in reader discussions and post comments

Have your say

Log in or register to post comments

Most Commented

Home secretary says government will support 'best' universities

Man handing microphone to audience member

Academic attainment of disadvantaged students can be improved if they can decide how they are assessed, study claims

Woman drinking tea from saucer

Plugging a multibillion-pound deficit exacerbated by June’s poll result may require ‘drastic measures’, analysts have warned

Italy's gold medallist

New measures to ensure universities are ‘not penalised’ for taking poorer students also outlined for next stage of TEF

Classroom, school

Higher education institutions can and should do more to influence education at a secondary school level, says Edward Peck