File on 4: Degrees of Deception

January, 2018

Prospects chief executive, Jayne Rowley, is interviewed on BBC Radio 4's File on 4, the award-winning current affairs documentary series investigating major issues at home and abroad

'Degrees of Deception' airs at 8pm on Tuesday 16 January. The documentary exposes a multi-million pound global trade in fake diplomas.

Jayne has been interviewed as part of Prospects' work to reduce degree fraud through its Hedd (Higher Education Degree Datacheck) service. She explains the regulatory challenge and what needs to happen to curb the issue.

About HEDD

  • Managed by Prospects, Hedd was launched in 2011 with funding from the Higher Education Funding Council for England. It provides a degree verification service for job applications or entry into postgraduate courses. It seeks to protect UK graduates, universities and employers from degree fraud. It covers over 100 universities in the UK representing over 80% of graduates.
  • In 2015 the Department for Education commissioned Prospects to target bogus institutions and perpetrators of degree fraud as part of its Hedd service. Hedd is reducing the number of fake institutions by increasing prosecutions through investigation and awareness-raising. The project also aims to combat degree fraud by individuals by getting employers and universities to make more verification checks when recruiting students and graduates.
  • Prospects signed an agreement with the Chinese Service Centre for Scholarly Exchange (CSCSE) to be the official partner for validating the UK degrees of graduates entering or returning to China to work. This is the UK's first official international collaboration to help prevent degree fraud.
  • Hedd has produced free toolkits for education providers and employers, explaining how to institute robust policies to prevent and combat fraud.

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