New bill aims to clamp down on fake degrees

2016-11-20 15:11
Blade Nzimande (File, City Press)

Blade Nzimande (File, City Press)

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Johannesburg – Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande has made a call for public comment on a new bill that seeks to clamp down on education institutions issuing fake qualifications.

A draft of the National Qualifications Framework Amendment Bill 2016, was issued by the department of higher education and training on Friday. Public comments are to be submitted before the deadline, next month.

The draft bill aims to make it compulsory for all education institutions issuing qualifications to be registered and accredited to do so. Additionally qualifications and part-qualifications must be registered on the National Qualifications Framework (NQF), or must be recognised by the South African Qualifications Authority (Saqa) or any other foreign qualifications authority.

This follows reports of private education institutions awarding invalid qualifications.

READ: Education Dept shuts 11 bogus colleges in Braamfontein

The bill calls for employers to verify the qualifications of their employees. Fraudulent qualifications are to be reported to Saqa. The authority will keep a record of the holder of the fake qualification. The bill also suggests a register of fake qualifications be kept. 

The amended act is expected to make provision for the following:

  • A separate register for professional designations.
  • The formulation of evaluation criteria of foreign qualifications.
  • The establishment of a register of fraudulent qualifications.
  • Education institutions, employers and courts of law to report fraudulent qualifications.
  • For the establishment by Saqa of a register of misrepresented qualifications.
  • For employers to be obliged to refer qualifications of employees to Saqa for validation and verification.

Invalid qualifications include degrees, diplomas, or certificates which was "fraudulently obtained or awarded" and presented in good faith as being authentic, the bill states. 

Read more on:    blade ­nzimande  |  education  |  tertiary education

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