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Employers warned as data highlights significant number of bogus universities and colleges

Employers warned as data highlights significant number of bogus universities and colleges, reports Graduate Prospects

Graduate Prospects reveals early figures from its Higher Education Degree Datacheck (HEDD) system, which show a significant number of bogus universities and colleges in the UK.

Only three months after launching, the automated degree verification system has uncovered more than 130 bogus universities and colleges that have claimed to award UK degrees, and more degree mills are being detected weekly.

HEDD was launched in June 2012 by Graduate Prospects as part of the Higher Education Funding Council for England Shared Services Programme to tackle the problem of degree fraud by enabling employers to easily verify candidate qualifications online.

The system now also enables organisations to check, free of charge, whether a university or college is, or has previously been, a recognised UK degree-awarding body, while flagging those that are known bogus institutions.

Mike Hill chief executive of Graduate Prospects says: “Degree mills present a problem globally and it would be impossible to stamp them out completely. HEDD is a new way of tackling the issue in the UK, through which we hope to create greater transparency by highlighting those organisations that have operated illegally.

“The list of institutions we have to date goes back to 1990, and while not all of them will still be active, they have been in our system at some point and anyone can still name them on their CV. HEDD provides an easy way for potential employers to check the legitimacy of the institution candidates claim they graduated from. Where new information comes to light about bogus institutions we will give this to the enforcement authorities.”


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