Thanks to ex-SABC board chairman Ellen Tshabalala, Mohau Pheko and Hlaudi Motsoeneng (among others), fake tertiary qualifications and academic titles have recently come to light in local media. So to give employers peace of mind about students entering the job market, the Independent Institute of Education (IIE) to come up with a way to have its graduates’ qualifications verified by potential employers.

The private tertiary institution will soon introduce South Africa’s first electronic academic verification system. In the near future, IIE will at graduation ceremonies give graduates their qualification certificates with a QR code attached to the bottom.

Potential employers will then be able to scan the code and use them with an authorisation key to reveal graduates’ academic records and full qualification details such as the NQF registration number, all of which will be hosted on the institution’s student administration system.

“Called the IIEMarque, this application is the result of a lengthy and intense development process, and will raise the bar on the way graduates communicate their credentials to prospective employers and postgraduate institutions,” said Dr Felicity Coughlan, IIE director.

For those without QR code readers, a unique URL, also with personalised authentication, will give them access to all the records and details.

Graduates can also, if they choose to, add their social media profiles and any other relevant information onto the institution’s admin system for potential employers to view.

“This is a significant step forward from the traditional way of handling graduate information, which often makes it onerous and time consuming to verify an individual’s qualifications claims,” Coughlan concludes.

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