Digital initiatives to combat false diplomas

Using fake diplomas is not a new phenomenon and they will continue to pose challenges to higher education institutions, employers and recognition authorities in the coming years. However, recent initiatives may offer solutions to combat false diplomas, an article by University World News reveals.

One example comes from Norway where nearly all diplomas that have been issued by Norwegian institutions have been digitalised in an online portal, which allows students to provide secure and time-limited access to their data to an employer through an electronic link. This procedure ensures the authenticity of the documents and is a safe and cost-effective way for an employer to verify credentials. Other systems, at varying stages of development, are in operation for instance in Belgium (Flanders), France, the Netherlands, Romania, the Russian Federation, and the United Kingdom.

Other European-level initiatives include the EMREX network, which permits individuals to manage their student data and to transfer credentials securely to employers, institutions and other parties as well as the ETINED Platform, created by the Council of Europe, to combat fraud and corruption, including fraudulent qualifications. The FRAUDOC project, led by the Italian ENIC-NARIC CIMEA, has launched guidelines on diploma mills and documents fraud for credential evaluators. The guidelines give an overview of the phenomenon, but also provide tools and recommendations on how fraudulent documents can be detected.

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