UK Education Verifications HEDDed in Right Direction
With the rising threat of diploma mills helping perpetrate resume fraud in the United Kingdom, a new education verification service was born in June 2012.
Called the Higher Education Degree Datacheck, or HEDD, this new service resembles the National Student Clearinghouse in the U.S.A.
The HEDD is operated by Graduate Prospects, the UK’s official graduate careers support service. Chief executive Mike Hill said it would be impossible to eliminate diploma mills completely, but that HEDD is helping highlight organizations that have operated illegally.
“The list of institutions we have to date goes back to 1990, and while not all of them will still be active, they have been in our system at some point and anyone can still name them on their CV,” he said.
Spotting a Fake UK Degree
In the United Kingdom, it is a violation of the Education Reform Act to offer UK degrees (the title of Bachelor, Master, or Doctor) without the authority to do so. All legitimate degree awarding bodies are listed in the HEDD system, which can be referenced as a primary source.
When trying to verifydegree legitimacy in the UK, look for the website domain name extension (.ac).
The primary domain extension for the Ascension Islands is (.ac). Many diploma mills are registered with the .ac address because the Ascension Islands does not put any restrictions on using the .ac domain name.
By comparison, the primary domain extension used by legitimate educational institutions in the uk is (.ac.uk). The .ac.uk domain is tightly regulated and only available to legitimate institutions.
Any other domain, especially .ac, but also .com, .net, .org, etc, might indicate that something isn’t quite right.
Presuming that no one will check the details, many diploma mills will falsify their physical addresses, using a completely false address or a residential address. This can be easily verified with a quick Google maps search.
Spelling & Grammar Errors
Most diploma mill websites sites are well-designed and look like they could be legitimate. However, a closer review of their spelling and grammar reveals many errors – too many errors to be a legitimate institution. Diploma mills are not terribly concerned with grammar and spelling. They just want people’s money.
Promises of Education without Study
The most blatant revelation of illegitimacy is the promise of a degree without any study. In the UK, it’s virtually impossible to receive any honor – Bachelor, Master, or Doctor – without study or supervised research.
As such, any claims to offer awards without study are highly suspect.
The fastest and easiest path to education verification in the UK is HEDD. With their help, you will be HEDDed in the right direction.