Hong Kong’s South China Morning Post (SCMP) published a news article yesterday revealing that graduates of Manav Bharti University are now being asked by employers around the world to prove that their qualifications are genuine (‘India’s fake degrees: hundreds in Singapore, Malaysia, US, Canada left questioning qualifications after Manav Bharti University scandal‘, 3 Mar).
Manav Bharti University (MBU) in the northern state of Himachal Pradesh in India has allegedly sold as many as 36,000 degrees for prices ranging from 100,000 to 300,000 rupees (US$1,362 to 4,085). This is according to investigations launched by Indian authorities last month. Of the 41,000 degrees issued by the university, only 5,000 were found to be genuine (‘Indian university caught selling 36,000 fake degrees has graduates working in Singapore‘).
SCMP interviewed one of the graduates who has a visa interview at the US embassy scheduled for next month. The revelation of the scandal is said to have upended his future plans.
“I doubt I will get approved [for the visa] if I cannot prove my degree is authentic,” said the MBU graduate. He has sent three emails to the university seeking clarification with regard to the status of his degree but all have bounced. “My future looks bleak,” he said, adding that his qualifications, in fact, have already been verified by credential evaluations provider World Education Services in 2018.
According to its website information, the World Education Services has already provided credential evaluations to three million individuals over the years.
Before news of the scandal broke, MBU had been touting on its website, listing a range of well-known multinational tech and consulting firms as recruiters of its graduates, who hail from as far afield as Afghanistan, Sri Lanka and Africa in addition to those from India.
MBU graduates quietly dissociate themselves from university
SCMP also reported that its analysis has found that some of the Indian nationals who had previously been identified by social media users in Singapore as MBU graduates have since removed any mention of the university from their profiles on professional networking site LinkedIn.
Indeed, a check on LinkedIn website did show that some of the MBU graduates are beginning to disassociate themselves from their university.
For example, a Singapore-based senior HR consultant on LinkedIn had earlier listed that he graduated from MBU in 2012 with a Bachelor’s degree in Engineering, Electronics and Communications.
However, he has now removed all references to MBU in his latest LinkedIn information.
This senior HR consultant also listed himself as being certified by the Manpower Ministry (MOM) with the Certificate of Employment Intermediaries (CEI). According to MOM website, employment recruiters working in HR firms must obtain the CEI certification. This is to ensure that recruiters understand their obligations under the Singapore employment laws and regulations such as the Employment of Foreign Manpower Act (EFMA) as well as the consequences for defrauding MOM with fake degree submissions.
In addition, he also listed himself as a volunteer working at the North-West CDC, which comes under MP and Mayor Alex Yam.