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Students warned against bogus colleges following numerous scams

The government has warned the matric class of 2018 to watch out for bogus colleges following numerous scandals relating to fake qualifications.
The government has warned the matric class of 2018 to watch out for bogus colleges following numerous scandals relating to fake qualifications.
Image: Thinkstock Images.

Unsuspecting students risk being duped by bogus institutions and ending up with unrecognised qualifications.

They pay for tuition, completely unaware that the colleges at which they are registered are not accredited - and therefore that the qualifications issued by the institutions are worthless.

There have also been numerous reports of people who intentionally include qualifications they do not possess on their CVs in order to fraudulently gain employment.

Following several qualifications scandals in recent months, the government on Sunday used its Twitter account to warn 2018 matriculants about bogus colleges.

The government went on to provide a link to a website where parents and learners can check if a college is accredited by the higher education and training department.

The cautionary note was certainly justified, considering the following fake qualifications scandals that have made headlines in recent months.

Mpumalanga "teachers" taught a lesson

In December 2018, the Hawks confirmed the arrest of two people posing as teachers in Mpumalanga. 

Sibongile Khuzwayo and Nonjabulo Mabuza appeared at the Wakkerstroom periodical court on fraud charges and were granted R3,000 bail.

Fake qualifications a universal problem

A medical qualification is favoured among fraudsters and criminals, not only in SA but also abroad.

In November 2018, after UK law enforcement caught up with a foreigner who successfully pretended to be a psychiatrist for 22 years, authorities set about investigating the qualifications of 3,000 foreign nationals employed in the country's health sector. 

Naming and shaming qualifications fraudsters

According to a TimesLIVE report in August 2018, the higher education and training department recommended exposing bogus colleges on a government website.

The department made the suggestion in the draft National Qualifications Framework Amendment Bill, which aims to clamp down on unaccredited qualifications.

Preying on unsuccessful matriculants

SA's education quality control council Umalusi warned about websites that target students who failed matric. The websites promise to issue students with a certificate that shows better results and reflects a "pass" on the qualifications database. 

Unfortunately, all of this is simply a scam to con desperate people out of their money.

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