Regulatory bodies have seen an increase in the number of fraudulent qualifications over the past five years. This was revealed earlier this week when Higher Education Minister Naledi Pandor responded to a question raised in parliament by ANC’s Juli Kilian who asked about the role of the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) in safeguarding the integrity of the national qualifications framework.

SAQA reported that the number of fraudulent qualifications grew to 106 in 2014/15 and decreased to 92 in 2015/16, again in 2016/17 to 24. The increase was massive in 2017/18 seeing 982 fraudulent cases and 385 since April 2018.

According to minister Pandor the increase is due to the fact that there was no agreement in place between Umalusi and SAQA in 2015 and 2016, this led to a high number of school-leaving qualifications not being confirmed as misrepresented qualifications in 2017.

“The relatively high number in 2017/18 is due to those qualifications being confirmed as misrepresented qualifications to SAQA in August 2017, while the Quality Council for Trade and Occupations began submitting their misrepresented qualifications to SAQA in August 2017,” said Pandor.

Minister Pandor revealed that the number of fraudulent foreign qualifications and SAQA certificates of evaluation was 2263 over the past five years. There were 444 misrepresented foreign qualifications in 2017/18 and 89 qualifications, this led to a SAQA representative personally visiting a university in Ghana, where these qualifications are suspected to originate from.

SAQA has responded by piloting the SAQA certificates of evaluation, and has rolled out the project as a permanent feature.

“It is important to note that the Department of Home Affairs can identify forged certificates of evaluation because the foreigners are unable to bypass all the security features on the certificates,” concluded Pandor.

[Source IOL News]