Prototype for the authentication of university certificates : case of Strathmore University

Gituma, Kamanda Ian Charles
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Strathmore University
Fraudulent activities especially around enrolment when applying for jobs and other opportunities has become quite prevalent today. This enrolment fraud has had the effect of giving some individuals an unfair advantage when applying for these positions. The danger of this is that it has a tendency to affect others in a negative way. The institutions whose names are misused lose credibility in the eyes of the public. Moreover, fraud within sensitive professions like medicine could potentially put the general public at risk of harm. Institutions of higher learning therefore have a responsibility to protect themselves and their students, and thus by extension protect the general public indirectly from harm. The way they can do this is by adopting systems that allow them to more effectively authenticate the certificates that they issue to their students, so that employers know who is and isn’t valid. This research therefore seeks to examine the prevalence of enrolment fraud and how it affects prospective employers, institutions of higher education (like universities and colleges) and the general public. It looks at enrolment fraud in its most common forms. The research also aims to provide an overview of some of the most common approaches to dealing with enrolment fraud all over the world, and shows the strengths and weaknesses of these approaches. The technologies used to tackle fraud will also be explained, as well as how they can be combined in different ways to better secure documents used in institutions of higher education. The end result of this research will be a prototype which if implemented within institutions of higher learning, will allow them to better authenticate the certificates and information that they issue. This should provide prospective employers, recruiters and other educational institutions a valid service which they can use to verify the authenticity of documents which they receive during the enrolment process.
Submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the Degree of Master of Science in Information Technology
Prototype, Certificates, Authentication, University Certificates, Education, Strathmore University, Fraud, Technology