A company in Indonesia was about to hire a candidate, but after having a background check on his academic record, it was found that his degree was issued by a university that was not registered under Indonesia Higher Education Government Bodies. It turned out that the university itself had dualism in their organization and only one was registered, hence the other was considered as a diploma mill. This complicates the candidate’s educational qualifications as his diploma was invalid.
Indonesian government through the Ministry of Education and Culture has long been in effort to eradicate diploma mills. Diploma mills are basically universities or equal educational institutions that have no authority to issue diplomas for they are neither accredited or registered under any governing authority. In short, these universities are bogus. Thus, the diplomas that they issue are invalid.
In Indonesia, as many as 243 private higher education institutions were closed down in 2019 for committing a fairly serious violation and issuing invalid diplomas without academic activities, as well as trading these fraudulent documents, according to Suara.com (19/02/2019).
Most diploma mills display at least a few or all of the following hallmarks:
- They are unaccredited / not registered under authorities.
- They do not conduct academic activities.
- They claim that academic activities are done through online or e-learning classes or what is commonly said as distance learning.
- They guarantee that students will receive diplomas in far less time than common universities.
Take Jakarta Institute of Management Studies (JIMS) as an example. They were once called out by the Indonesian mainstream media as one of the universities that issued invalid diplomas. It was proven that they conducted academic activities, but the institution was not accredited. Thus, the diplomas that they issued were declared invalid by the Ministry of Education.
Diploma mills pose threats to students, employers, and the reputation of legitimate universities, especially those that hold e-learning courses. While the authority is clamping down on these bogus universities, legitimate universities should defend their own reputation and prove their integrity.
One of the efforts that can be taken is to verify the educational documents of their alumni. In practice, however, document verifications by telephone, email, and fax are often inefficient.
A one-stop verification platform is the answer to this problem. Through a one-stop verification platform, such as www.education-verification.com, the document verification process will be more efficient in terms of time and resources. In the Education Verification platform, the name of the verifier is recorded in the system, which maintains accountability in the verification process. Moreover, the verification is done in a two-step process: verification by the academic staff and confirmation by a supervisor, which promotes a check-and-balance process. It is also guaranteed that all listed universities are only those that are accredited. All results can be accounted for and are guaranteed to be accurate.
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