Diploma mills have been on the United States radar screen as far back as 1876, when then commissioner of education John Eaton Jr called them a “disgrace to American education”. Today, credential fraud in higher education is a billion-dollar industry, by some accounts. It has spiralled into a major threat for employers and university admissions offices. And it spans the globe.
The United States is home to the largest number of diploma mills, with more than 1,000 known operations in 2011, according to Verifile, a UK-based pre-employment screening company, she said. But the presentation provided evidence that academic fraud cuts a wide swathe, with scandals uncovered in recent years in Canada, Singapore, Kenya, Australia and Liberia, to name a few.
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