Fewer available places at tertiary education institutions and a marked decrease in learners who have matriculated with mathematics and science is a major concern to education authorities and employers.
Learners are desperate for the opportunity to enrol for further study. This sense of desperation was reflected by the recent incident at the University of Johannesburg, during which one person was killed and several others hurt when would-be applicants stormed the premises in an attempt to register.
According to media reports the University had space for 800 applicants, whilst several thousand people turned up to register.
The situation becomes even more serious considering the plight of learners who have matriculated without full exemption – a status that closes them off to extensive further study opportunity.
It is a wake-up call for the market at large.
Subject choice and performance has a great deal to do with this. With fewer people achieving satisfactory results in maths and science, or not selecting these subjects in the first place, the chances of fraud increases. Not having these key subjects, impacts on successful admission to study. Learners may therefore be inclined to change their subjects on their certificates.
This scenario may lead to a general increase in certification fraud as learners use any means possible to secure a place at a tertiary institution or a job.
A relatively large percent of all the matriculation qualifications that we verify (for job applications) have risk associated with them. This means that the candidate has either lied about the result of a subject or about even having taken certain subjects, right through to lying about the actual qualification and, in some instances, even submitting a fake certificate.
The company has publicly stated that buy-in from education institutions, employers and authorities as the importance of credentials verification services is the only way to combat certification fraud. Accordingly, the only plausible way to ensure that a certificate is authentic and that all information supplied is true and can be verified, is by consulting with proven experts in the field.
The implication of taking a certificate at face-value for tertiary institutions is that they may well be offering a place to a candidate who hasn't met the criteria at the expense of a genuine candidate. An employer could be placing his or her business at risk by offering a position to someone without traceable, verifiable credentials