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Thursday, September 2, 1999 Published at 17:32 GMT 18:32 UK


Education

Legal action against fake degrees

'Real' degrees are devalued by fakes, say vice-chancellors

University vice-chancellors have taken legal action to prevent the sale of fake degree certificates.

Anyone who has bought or used a counterfeit qualification could also face discovery, as the legal action seeks the identification of all purchasers of fake certificates.

The Committee of Vice-Chancellors and Principals has obtained an interim injunction stopping a Liverpool businessman from selling fake degrees that appear to come from universities in the United Kingdom.

The court action also requires the businessman - named as Peter Quinn - to provide the names and addresses of people who have bought a false degree and details of the type of "qualification" they have acquired.

The legal action is in response to reports that Mr Quinn has been advertising "authentic-looking" degree certificates on the internet and through magazine classified advertising.

Degree for £70

It is believed that fake degrees certificates, which were available to customers around the world, were being sold for prices between £70 and £100.

The injunction, obtained on behalf of 146 universities, prevents Mr Quinn from advertising or supplying any reproduced documents which claim to be from a university.

Although saying that there was no widespread problem with counterfeit certificates, Diana Warwick, the chief executive of the CVCP, said that such activities needed to be "firmly discouraged".

"Anyone attempting to produce or buy and use fake degree certificates is cheating all those who have legitimately worked hard to achieve such qualifications.

"While we have no evidence that use of fake degrees is a problem, it was important to act against this kind of trade."



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