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Sunday, November 5, 2017

Blockchain News: How Blockchain Can Stamp Out China's Fake Diplomas

How Blockchain Can Stamp Out Chinas Fake Diplomas

In 2010, former president of Microsoft China Tang Jun, had his PhD from Pacific Western University called into question. Investigators found that not only was Pacific Western an unaccredited institution, but that his diploma had cost him $2,595 in tuition, and required no classroom instruction. A year later, legions of other high-ranking senior executives were, perhaps somewhat embarrassingly, caught up in widespread "degree scams"— dubious programmes offering enrollees credentials like PhD certificates for minimal, if any, academic work. The practice of academic forgery, where degrees from unaccredited or fake institutions are sold to customers both witting and unwitting, has long been popular among unscrupulous students in China, but is relatively new to the upper echelons of its business world.  

Though not a uniquely Chinese phenomenon, a quick scroll through Chinese search engine Baidu reveals how easy it is to buy counterfeit certificates from websites like Yuhongzp and PhonyDiploma on the mainland. A fake diploma from The University of Hong Kong, for instance, costs only $250, and allows users to customize everything from the watermark to the quality of the paper stock ("aged," "eggshell" or "cream" are all options).

Allen Ezell, co-author of the book Degree Mills: The Billion- Dollar Industry That Has Sold Over a Million Fake Diplomas, says the scope of the industry can be enormous. “One of the largest counterfeit diploma operations we have seen was based in Shenzhen. They offered diplomas on about 1,000 U.S. schools,” he tells FORBES. 

Efforts to combat this shadow economy have been spearheaded by China’s Ministry of Education, as well as education website sdaxue.com. Since 2013, Sdaxue has exposed 400 fraudulent universities, or “degree mills” in China, and just last year produced their sixth list of blacklisted schools, which outed 30 new institutions.


Full story at http://bit.ly/2ixxh4U


Source: Forbes


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