The University of Johannesburg (UJ) has recognised the need for universities to continuously increase their security features related to the certification processes, to prevent certificate fraud, stop counterfeiting, and to avoid fraudulent representation of qualifications. UJ was the first South African Institution to offer its graduates the additional value offering of digital certificates a few years back. This not only allowed graduates to securely view and order lost or damaged certificates but also gave them access to share their certificates securely with third parties or employers, at no cost. From this year on, UJ is again the first South African Institution to enhance its certificates by adding blockchain-based security features to it.
“The Digital Certificate system, which was introduced a while back for our graduates, gave graduates access to their certificates digitally and assisted in securely sharing these certificates with third parties or prospective employers, at no cost. The new blockchain-based certificate features will enhance the security of certificates even more. Certificates issued from this year on will have QR codes printed on them, which anybody can scan with a smartphone to verify whether the information on the certificate is correct and has been issued legitimately by UJ. The public is now able to validate the awarded qualifications for UJ graduates without having to contact the University or having to go through a verification agency, just by scanning the QR code on the certificate and best of all, at no cost,” says Dr Tinus van Zyl, Senior Director of Central Academic Administration, UJ.
UJ’s Registrar, Prof Kinta Burger added that “UJ is really pleased to offer this additional security feature for our graduates. The new blockchain-based certificates will not only protect the University’s certificates from fraud but also preserve the reputation of the institution and the integrity of qualifications. UJ is committed to applying new technologies to improve systems and service delivery. This continuous improvement strategy and use of cutting-edge technology, facilitated through the Fourth Industrial Revolution are at the heart of our philosophy.”