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University presidents demand fake-diploma probe

The Council of University Presidents of Thailand (CUPT) will ask members to tighten their recruitment processes to weed out people with bogus education certificates applying for jobs as university lecturers.

The move came after the Coordinating Centre for the Public Higher Education Staff (CHES) on Monday lodged a petition with the Department of Special Investigation (DSI) urging the agency to look into a network which allegedly supplies fake university degrees online and those who bought them.

CUPTs president Suchatvee Suwansawat said Wednesday he will urge all universities under the council to tighten their recruitment process and recheck their employees university qualifications to screen out those trying to cheat the higher education system.

"Using fraudulent documents to establish a career is unacceptable behaviour. It is criminal conduct, so everybody needs to help stop these people," he said. The CUPT would discuss the matter at a meeting today.

Mr Suchatvee said all universities must check a job applicants degree and thesis with the university they claim to have graduated from.

"If we find that they are using fake degrees to apply for posts as university lecturers, they will be blacklisted and registered on our shared list. This will ensure they are not able to apply for a position at any university in the future," he said.

Mr Suchatvee said he believed most universities, especially leading institutes, have already done a good job in their recruitment process, but there may be some minor flaws with a few sub-standard universities and courses.

In the petition lodged by CHES on Monday, the group claimed it found one person had used a fake degree, apparently from a prestigious university in the United Kingdom, to apply for a lecturers position at a Thai university in a northern province.

After an investigation by the CHES, the UK university said the person did not graduate from the institute, the group said, adding the persons thesis was not in the universitys records either.

CHES secretary-general, Weerachai Phutdhawong, said one website offers online courses for all degrees from foreign universities and students can graduate within six to 12 months.

Based on information on the website, a bachelors degree certificate costs 60,000-125,000 baht, while it is 72,000-125,000 baht for a masters degree and 150,000-225,000 baht for a doctorate, he said.

Mr Weerachai said the website is also linked to World Peace University, earlier accused by the DSI of granting honorary degrees in exchange for money.

"It is impossible to finish a doctorate degree within six months," said Mr Weerachai.

"A total of 10 teachers were found to have used fake degrees to teach at various prominent universities. One of them has been teaching for three years."

There are flaws in the system used to screen lecturers at universities and tougher measures are needed to scrutinise them, he said. Those using fake education certificates were generally found to have applied for positions as extra lecturers first and then were recruited by universities later as permanent staff.

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08:16 - 20/01/2017    /    Number : 670100    /    Show Count : 210

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