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Verification Procedure

Document Verification Procedure

As an educator, we know the biggest hurdle in evaluating international credentials is verifying document authenticity.

We want to ensure an accurate and objective representation of the academic history of an international candidate. Based on documents that have been checked for validity and accuracy, they offer an analysis of an individual’s degrees and transcripts and provide U.K. equivalents for each credential in a clear and consistent manner.

CCUK has access to foreign education systems, institutions and programs, and experience in dealing with university officials and students overseas.

The Facts on Document Policies

The traditional approach to detecting fraud relies mainly on the ability of admissions officers to scrutinize documents we have received to check whether they contain errors or discrepancies. This system is not especially reliable or practical simply because the huge volume and diversity of credentials makes it virtually impossible to inspect each document closely. Hence, the only way we can effectively eliminate fraud is by changing our approach. Instead of trying to detect false documents after they have been submitted, we need to prevent them from being submitted in the first place by adopting rigorous standards for receiving academic credentials.

The majority of international students who come to the United Kingdom do so at great expense. Their aim is to further their education and earn the skills and qualifications that will help them succeed professionally. It takes a great deal of grit and determination on the part of these students to meet all the eligibility requirements for admission to U.K. institutions of higher education.

Among the thousands of well-qualified applicants there are those who will attempt to gain admission to U.K. institutions by using fraudulent documents. By instituting rigorous documentation policies and enforcing them, we have been able to select qualified candidates, minimize fraud and protect the integrity of our admission process.

How to Recognize International Education Credentials

Credentials are acceptable only when they are issued by authorized educational institutions. Before accepting a document as valid, we ask following question:

  • Does the institution exist?
  • What is the status of the institution?
  • Does it offer the program that is indicated on the document?
  • Did the candidate complete the pre-requisites for admission into the program that led to the credential in question?

Document Authenticity and Verification

A document is authentic when it is issued by an academic institution, by an examination board or by a legal entity authorized to issue academic documents.

Transcripts must be received directly from the academic institution that issued them.

If the institution is unable to send transcripts directly, we send copies of the documents submitted by the student for verification to the institution that issued them.

Before sending a document to the issuing institution for verification, it is important to check the address of the institution to ensure that it is the one that appears in published sources and not rely solely on the address that is printed on the document itself.

Letters asking for verification are addressed to the title of the officer who issued and signed the document (e.g. “Controller of Examinations,” “Director of Studies” or “Director of International Relations”) and not to a articular individual.

How to Communicate With a Foreign Institution

To expedite the verification, the request and relevant documents are sent by fax. Replies by fax or e-mail are acceptable, provided that the name, e-mail address or fax number of the sender can be found on the institution’s website or in one of the published references.

Acceptable Verification of Authenticity

Documents must be authenticated by authorized officials at the institutions that issued them. Verifications issued by embassies, consulates, public notaries or other officials that are outside of the academic institution are not usually acceptable.

Accepting Documents from Students

Traditionally, U.K. universities would accept documents from international students because many institutions abroadgenerally would not send transcripts directly to the U.K. Today more and more academic institutions worldwide are capable of sending documents directly to U.K. institutions, and students are required to arrange for their records to be sent directly from their home institutions. When an institution is unable to send documents directly, the documents submitted by students will be sent back for verification.

How Long Does Verification Take?

The time that it takes to obtain responses from institutions abroad varies by country and institution. Some institutions take several weeks or months to reply while others respond quickly, in a matter of days or weeks. The turn around time has been decreasing steadily due to the widespread use of fax and email. It is important that students are advised to submit their applications early to allow for the necessary verification.

Documents are frequently issued in the official language of the country of origin. Translations vary greatly in quality, whether they are done in the U.K. or in the home country, even when they are done by professional translators. Unless issued in English directly by the academic institutions themselves, documents translated in English must be submitted together with the original language documents issued by the institutions.

Setting Documentation Requirements

To ensure maximum and timely compliance, candidates are given clear instructions on the documents that they must submit, how to submit them, and all the deadlines that apply. To avoid confusion, instructions for students are written in language that they could understand easily using terminology that is familiar to them. For example the term ‘transcript’ can mean a syllabus in some countries and what is called a ‘transcript’ in the U.K. is known in India as a ‘mark sheet’ or ‘statement of marks’.

“Accreditation” is another word that is not universally used although the concept is more widely understood now than ever before. When checking the status of an academic institution, asking for its “accreditation” might not always yield the esired response. The requests are usually for official information or documentation that attests to the nstitution’s “recognition” by the appropriate educational authority in hat country.

What we Request in Specific Countries or Regions:

Nigeria

Higher Education
What to submit
  • Clear, legible photocopies of all degree certificates issued by the institutions attended

And

  • Academic transcripts showing all subjects completed and all grades awarded for all years of post-secondary study
  • For completed doctoral programs, a letter confirming the awarding of doctorate
Vocational and Professional Education : Polytechnics, Teacher Training Colleges, Colleges of Nursing and Midwifery

What to Submit
  • Clear, legible photocopies of all diplomas issued by the appropriate awarding authority e.g. Certificate of Registration issued by the Nursing and Midwifery Council of Nigeria, Nigeria Certificate of Education

AND

  • Academic transcripts for all post-secondary programs of study

Secondary Education

If you have completed one or more years of post-secondary study, you do not need to submit any secondary school documents with your application.

What to Submit
  • External examination results for the Senior School Certificate

Important Notes:

Applicants should NOT submit documentation of short-term professional development courses or other non-formal, non-academic training with their application. If applicable, applicants must submit proof of name change. (Clear, legible photocopy of marriage certificate, for example.) Some academic institutions can take several weeks to provide transcripts so applicants may want to request their transcript at the earliest possible moment.

Cameroon

Higher Education

 What to submit
  • Clear, legible photocopies of all degree, diplomas or certificates issued in French by the institutions attended e.g. Diplôme de Licence, Diplôme de Maîtrise

And

  • Relevé de notes (academic transcripts) showing all subjects taken and exam results for all post-secondary programs of study
  • For completed doctoral programs, a letter confirming the awarding of the degree

SECONDARY EDUCATION

If you have completed one or more years of post-secondary study, you do not need to submit any secondary school documents with your application.

What to submit

  • Clear, legible photocopy of diploma issued by the institution attended e.g. Diplôme du Baccalauréat, Attestation, General Certificate of Education, or any other secondary school diploma

AND

  • Relevé de notes (academic transcripts) issued by the institution attended

Important Notes:

Applicants should NOT submit documentation of short-term professional development courses or other non-formal, non-academic training with their application. If applicable, applicants must submit proof of name change. (Clear, legible photocopy of marriage certificate, for example.)

Some academic institutions can take several weeks to provide transcripts so applicants may want to request their transcript at the earliest possible moment.

Ghana

Higher Education

What to submit
  • Clear, legible photocopies of all degree certificates issued by the institutions attended e.g. Professional or Advanced Certificates and Diplomas, Bachelor, Master, Ph.D., Postgraduate Certificates

And

  • Academic transcripts showing all subjects completed and all grades awarded for all years of post-secondary study
  • For completed doctoral programs, a letter confirming the awarding of the degree
Vocational and Professional Education: Polytechnics, Teacher Training Colleges, Colleges of Nursing and Midwifery

What to Submit:
  • Clear, legible photocopies of all diplomas issued by the appropriate awarding authority e.g. Certificate of Registration issued by the Nursing and Midwifery Council of Nigeria, Nigeria Certificate of Education

and

  • Academic transcripts for all post-secondary programs of study

Secondary Education

If you have completed one or more years of post-secondary study, you do not need to submit any secondary school documents with your application.

What to Submit
  • External examination results for the Senior School Certificate

Important Notes:

Applicants should NOT submit documentation of short-term professional development courses or other non-formal, non-academic training with their application. If applicable, applicants must submit proof of name change. (Clear, legible photocopy of marriage certificate, for example.)

Some academic institutions can take several weeks to provide transcripts so applicants may want to request their transcript at the earliest possible moment.

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