Malaysia’s ministry of education announced the formation of blockchain-based consortium of universities and platform that will be used to verify the legitimacy of degree.
The ministry of education (MoE) of Malaysia officially announced the formation of a University Consortium on Blockchain Technology, in parallel with the launching of the e-Scroll system, a blockchain-based degree verification platform.
On the launching, the MoE quoted a report by the BBC Radio earlier this year that stated that there is multi-million dollar fake degree trading going on worldwide these days.
The report even claimed that thousands of UK nationals have bought fake degrees from a “diploma mill” in Pakistan, with which buyers successfully join the workforce to become bogus doctors, consultants, and nurses.
Reflecting to the unsettling phenomenon, which is said to also happen in Malaysia, the MoE decided to take a prevention step to prevent degree fraud as well as to safeguard the reputation and integrity of Malaysian universities.
The idea to use blockchain was first proposed by the Council of ICT Deans of universities in the country to the MoE, citing its security and potential to help with the degree authentication process.
“Currently, Malaysian universities receive thousands of requests globally to verify their genuine graduates. Such verification is still largely done via telephone and emails which contribute to its inefficiency,” the MoE stated.
As a follow up, a blockchain-based system, e-Scroll was built by a team led by a professor from the International Islamic University Malaysia (IIUM) on NEM platform to store the scanned QR code of genuine degree certificates issued by legitimate universities in Malaysia.
On the chosen blockchain platform, the professor said, “Although, such a system can also be built using other blockchains, NEM was chosen due to its unique features in managing traceability and authentication requirements.”
“In the current implementation, a verification process can be done from anywhere in the world as long as there is Internet connectivity, and the process takes only a few seconds,” he explained the platform further.
As an initial implementation phase, the degree certificates of all PhD students from IIUM graduating in the convocation on Nov 10 will be scanned and stored on the new e-Scroll system.
The MoE responded to the idea from the council by setting up a consortium of universities to study the adoption of blockchain technology, prior to the development of more blockchain-based systems, considering that the experts of blockchain are mostly found in universities, as reported by local media The New Straits Times.
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