READER LETTER | Fake honorary doctorates have no place in society

There is a recent disturbing trend for honorary doctorates to be awarded by certain local and overseas dubious, fly-by-night, shady, bogus and non-accredited institutions.
There is a recent disturbing trend for honorary doctorates to be awarded by certain local and overseas dubious, fly-by-night, shady, bogus and non-accredited institutions.
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A doctorate is the highest post-matric academic qualification and generally requires six years of full-time intensive study to complete, with extensive research being undertaken. It is evaluated as M plus six vertical, M plus three vertical being for a three-year post-matric degree or diploma.

On rare occasions, deserving persons are awarded honorary doctorates for good reason/s, without any studying, on account of their significant contribution to society or exceptional prowess in a particular field. There is a recent disturbing trend for honorary doctorates to be awarded by certain local and overseas dubious, fly-by-night, shady, bogus, and non-accredited institutions. This is unacceptable and needs to be stopped immediately.

It makes a mockery of the aforementioned exceptional awarding. What is more disturbing is that certain local and overseas institutions, of the negative descriptions referred to above and purporting to be Christian higher learning institutions in the form of Bible colleges or universities, are awarding doctorates to “celebrity pastors”. This is nonsensical and an utter disgrace. Such doctorates must be “handed in”, burnt, and destroyed as they are an insult to right-minded persons.

Is it not high time that the state and accredited and acceptable local and international higher learning authorities, including in religious spheres, be involved in the awarding of honorary doctorates so that this malpractice is eliminated? Remember years back “Dr” Pallo Jordan, an ANC heavyweight, masqueraded as a Doctor of Philosophy and last year Matthew Lani purported to be a medical doctor. The latter was just a bogus attention seeker using social media to delude people. Unfortunately, some of the masses are gullible and lack discernment.

A sound education, including post-matric qualifications, is a key to advancement and greater opportunities for the future. However, sham doctorates and sham institutions have no place in a civilised society.

They make no positive contribution to the coveted pursuit of higher learning and excellence. Much dedication, sacrifice, and required funding are needed to advance oneself education-wise. The younger generation especially must focus on this so that they, their families, and society in general can benefit and have an improved life.

Simon T Dehal, Verulam


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