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Website offering fake university degree certificates under investigation

Photo by: John McStravick | Flickr

A government body is investigating the sale of fake university degree certificates by a website in China.

Following BBC Radio Kent’s prior investigation which found certificates priced at £500, reporters posed as customers and discovered the website offering degree certificates from many UK universities, including Kent and Surrey.

The Higher Education Degree Datacheck (HEDD) said they hoped the website would be shut down by Chinese authorities.

When first investigated in December, the website claimed the certificates were for “novelty purposes, or as a replacement for lost diplomas”.

The University of Kent however, said students work hard for their degrees and it is worrying that such a website exists.

HEDD, funded by the Higher Education Funding Council for England verifies authenticity of degrees issued by 22 UK universities.

Spokeswoman Jane Rowley said it had discovered the website offering not only UK university certificates, but also certificates for American and Chinese universities.

Ms Rowley said HEDD “have been in contact with colleagues at the Ministry of Education in China to ask if they are able to act.

They do have an agency responsible for this in China and they are going to investigate further so they should be able to shut down the website.”

Although Ms Rowley said degree fraud damages the reputation of universities, she said they are working “to protect our young graduates in the workplace to make sure they are not being denied opportunities to work by people who have not done the work or made that kind of financial investment.”

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