140 fake foreign degrees caught in UAE last year

 

140 fake foreign degrees caught in UAE last year

Abu Dhabi - Not a single fake degree has been accredited by the ministry.

by

Ismail Sebugwaawo

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Published: Wed 30 Jan 2019, 7:16 PM

Last updated: Wed 30 Jan 2019, 9:26 PM

 
More than 140 fake degrees and certificates from foreign universities were caught by UAE authorities last year, a minister told the Federal National Council (FNC).
Dr Ahmed Bilhoul Al Falasi, Minister of State for Higher Education and Advanced Skills, was responding to a question in Wednesday's FNC meeting. Member Hamad Al Rahoomi raised questions on allegations about forged certificates being presented by Emiratis who study abroad to the ministry, some of which reportedly received accreditation.
The minister denied the allegations, stressing that not a single fake degree has been accredited by the ministry.
Al Falasi said: "Before accrediting any certificate, the ministry asks for stamps from concerned parties, for example the embassy of the country where the degree was issued, and then the officials call the university and confirm if the student graduated from there before an equalisation process is done," Al Falasi said.
He said that 143 forged certificates were caught in 2018, adding that the federal government and local government in Abu Dhabi require the degree to be accredited by the ministry before they recruit a person, but in some other emirates private companies don't request it.
According to Al Rahoomi, there are unconfirmed reports that some UAE nationals were allegedly using dodgy certificates from foreign universities to get jobs, especially in the private sector.
Al Rahoomi noted that out of the 9,662 certificates that were presented to the ministry for accreditation between January and October 2016, 296 were rejected and four were found to be forged.
He also asked the minister why the 296 certificates were rejected and how the forged ones had been detected.
Al Falasi explained that the certificates rejected by the ministry were valid, but upon analysing the number of academic hours completed and the "content of the degree", it didn't match the UAE standards for accreditation.
"In Abu Dhabi, for instance, companies always ask for accredited certificates before promoting an employee. So even if a person is already in the job, there are many filtering steps they would go through," he said.
Saeed Saleh Al Rumaithi, FNC member from Abu Dhabi, also raised a question on whether the government was considering to introduce a law for a minimum salary for Emirati employees in the federal government departments.
The minister said the available law allows the Cabinet to set salaries for Emirati federal government employees, which can be reviewed whenever it's necessary. He, however, added that he would forward the issue of the minimum wage to the authorities concerned.
Draft law on space sector passed
The Federal National Council (FNC) has passed the draft law that regulates the space sector in the country.
Under the new draft law, discussed and approved by the FNC members on Wednesday, no one is allowed to launch any object that reaches 100km above Earth's sea level without the approval of the UAE Space Agency.
According to the law, unauthorised acquisition of objects such as satellites or rockets is illegal.
The draft law, which consists of 54 articles, describes the ownership of space objects, working in space-related activities, being a part of it or using locations in the UAE for space-related activities without having a permit from the UAE Space Agency.
People or firms caught trying to launch space objects without seeking permission from authorities will face fines not less than Dh100,000 and not exceeding Dh10 million and imprisonment which doesn't exceed two years, says the law.
The space-craft law was drafted by the FNC committee on technology, energy and mineral resources which held five meetings before it presented the draft law to the house on Wednesday.
According to the committee's report, the law aimed at developing a legislative framework that regulates the space sector to achieve the objectives of national strategies and promote security and stability, and boost investment and sustainability in various space activities in the country.
Afra Rashid Al Basti, FNC member from Dubai who led the committee that developed the draft law, told Khaleej Times: "The legislation will help the UAE Space Agency in organising its activities and issuing permits, even with regard to finding meteorites and any kind of space object that falls into the UAE."
"The draft law also seeks to impose a ban on selling, buying and mining meteorites anywhere in the country."
ismail@khaleejtimes.com 



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