Around half (46 per cent) of the CV lies related to grade inflation, with graduates declaring a higher class of degree than they had actually achieved, while 28 per cent of incidents saw graduates claiming to have completed a course that they had only partly finished.
Some 15 per cent of cases saw individuals who had never completed a degree claiming to have done so, while 11 per cent involved people changing the subject of their qualifications in order to suit a particular job’s requirements.
According to two-thirds of the 559 students and graduates surveyed, the increase in tuition fees has made buying a fake degree certificate more tempting, while 14 per cent said they know someone who has purchased, or is considering purchasing, a counterfeit university qualification.
The survey was carried out by the careers information website Graduate Prospects, as part of the Higher Education Degree Datacheck initiative – a government-backed online degree verification system launched to tackle degree fraud.
Jayne Rowley, who leads on the HEDD initiative at Graduate Prospects, said: “A tough jobs market coupled with high tuition fees may be making it more tempting for people to make false claims on their CVs, but organisations need to routinely verify qualifications as part of their recruitment process; if candidates knew that they would be checked it would make lies less likely.”
She said that the dishonesty was to the detriment of the “thousands of genuine, hard-working students who have invested in a UK degree programme”.
“We alone have identified more than 130 degree mills since we launched HEDD, but there is still a lot of work to be done.”