Diploma Forging !
It is amidst the country’s ongoing internal war, that Damascus University versus forged degrees through an unprecedented effort to digitise its documentation is unfloding.
In effect, Damascus University recently issued its first digitally enhanced diplomas, part of an initiative to combat the use of forged diplomas by students wanting to claim they graduated from the country’s oldest institution of higher education, writes Riham Alkousaa for Al-Fanar (also reported in University World News, Issue No:412).
Reports have surfaced of diploma-forging rackets in Turkey and in Persian Gulf countries, as Syrian refugees who have fled their country’s brutal war seek to boost their qualifications in order to gain access to educational or work opportunities, either in the region or beyond.
“Some people believe that holding a university degree improves their chances of getting refugee asylum in Europe,” said Nour Murad (29), a Syrian journalism masters student at Marmara University in Istanbul, Turkey. Accurate statistics about the phenomenon are not available. But Damascus University Provost Abbas Sandouk recently told the Syrian newspaper Al Watan that he discovered a batch of 70 fake certificates in 2014 that were clearly the tip of an iceberg of fake credentials circulating among Syrian emigrants. Efforts to fix the problem started soon afterwards.
. . . In Germany, where the number of Syrian university applicants has increased significantly over the past two years as the European refugee crisis has continued, admissions officers have discovered forged diplomas, said Martin Knechtges, an assistant to the board of directors at uni-assist, a service that helps international students apply to schools in Germany.
But the service and European universities have learned to spot forgeries and consult experts or double-check other databases if they’re in doubt, he said. Knechtges noted that a lack of language skills, rather than the lack of proof of graduation, is most often the reason that a Syrian student’s application is rejected. . .
Read full report on Al-Fanar.