RIYADH — The Shoura Council Monday approved a proposal to establish national documentation center to check the authenticity of higher degrees and diplomas and determine their equivalence so as to eradicate bogus certificates from the Saudi employment market.
The proposal is part of a draft law, which consists of 19 Articles. It aims at developing a mechanism to determine equivalence of degrees obtained from non-Saudi universities. Provisions of the law will be applicable to all holders of degrees, including Saudis and foreigners.
The Shoura’s move gains greater significance amid frequent reports about gangs involved in selling bogus certificates.
Dr. Fahaad Al-Hamad, Assistant Chairman of the Shoura, said that the session was briefed on the proposal from the committee for the affairs of education and scientific research, read out by Prince Khaled Bin Abdullah Al-Saud, head of the committee.
The degree documentation center will be an independent entity with financial and administrative freedom and it will be linked to the minister of higher education. The jurisdiction of the center includes verifying the authenticity of higher degrees obtained from outside the Kingdom. The center will also be in-charge of determining the equivalence of degrees in all higher disciplines obtained from outside the Kingdom in order to ensure whether they are conforming to the international, academic and organizational standards endorsed by the center’s board of directors.
It will uncover the agencies involved in circulating fake certificates, issue warning against them besides banning their activities in the Kingdom. The center is also entrusted with issuing warnings to university teachers against extending any types of cooperation to such agencies.
The authorities have taken a number of steps to stamp out fake degree mills. Last month, police in Jazan arrested an expatriate forger who made SR13m selling fake degrees to students. The suspect, who is believed to have sold more than 700 phony post-graduate university degrees and diplomas, was picked up by Jazan police officials who foiled the Jeddah-based forger’s attempts to flee the country using a false identity. In a separate incident, Qassim police last month arrested an Arab university professor and his daughter for forging university diplomas, and seized the laboratory where they faked more than 16,000 certificates of local and international universities. –