Notarization: The Trojan Horse Approach to Gaining Credibility for a Diploma Mill Diploma

pwu diplomaNo·ta·rize (nō′tə-rīz′): To certify or attest to (the validity of a signature on a document, for example) as a notary public. It’s often what one bureaucracy requires of another to prove that a document is authentic. This is one of the many fee-based services offered by embassies and consulates general in Vietnam. What if the document being notarized is not authentic?

Here’s a hypothetical case. A man walks into Embassy X and requests that his diploma mill Ph.D. diploma be notarized. The Embassy notarizes said document because “Dr. Cuong” can prove – with proper ID – that it is indeed his (fake) diploma and sign an affidavit confirming that fact. It matters not that it was “earned” (i.e., bought) from a notorious US-based diploma mill that has reared its ugly head in the Vietnamese media in recent years.  What’s wrong with this picture?

[According to Transparency International, corruption in education is particularly damaging because it endangers a country’s social, economic and political future.  The use of fake educational credentials is a clear-cut example of corruption.]

After paying a modest fee, producing ID and signing on the dotted line, “Dr. Cuong” leaves the Embassy a happy man.  He has in his possession an educational credential that – at least on paper – has more credibility and recognition than it did when he entered. Why check on the accreditation status of “Unaccredited US University” when the diploma was notarized by a well-known foreign mission?

This, of course, is why six (6) of the search engine terms that bring netizens to my blog are where can i buy a phd.  Most of these “consumers” are what are known as willing co-conspirators.  Question:  Given the fact that Vietnam’s Ministry of Education and Training (MoET) has clamped down on the use of “degrees” from unaccredited foreign institutions, what will “Dr. Cuong” do with his diploma mill degree?  Your thoughts? 


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