Johannesburg, South Africa, 9 November 2020. Henley Business School Africa has gone on the warpath to fight fraud, protect its students and provide transparency. It has just announced that it is the first business school in Africa to offer digital certification for graduates of its programmes – certification that guarantees the security of its qualifications and brand.
In a world where ‘deep fakes’ are becoming an on-demand service and documents, videos and even likenesses can be easily forged, there is an ever-growing need for individuals and organisations to be able to prove their identity and the authenticity of their qualifications.
“Strong digital credentials enable graduate professionals to protect and display the value of their qualifications anywhere in the world,” says Jon Foster-Pedley, Dean of Henley Africa, “They also give prospective employers and clients the confidence that someone has the experience and knowledge that they claim. Henley’s triple-accredited international qualifications are in high demand worldwide and we are making sure that nobody can claim to have them unless they have earned them and genuinely succeeded in the high level of challenging work needed.”
Henley Africa’s new digital certificates are created by PrivySeal, a technology company founded by South African Attorney Stephen Logan. The certificates and linked seals can be embedded in emails, websites, documents or social media, and are checked against Henley’s graduate database. All a user has to do is follow a unique link via a click or QR code to prove the document’s authenticity.
“The ability to quickly confirm a certificate as genuine is important to building trust,” says Logan. “It enables third parties to have faith that they are dealing with a recognised, responsible person with a proven and top-class qualification.”
Because the check is made in real-time against an active database, if a qualification has to be corrected or withdrawn, due e.g. to plagiarism, it is immediately reflected.
PrivySeal’s technology is already in use by recognised professional bodies and statutory regulators in the architecture, quantity surveying, accountancy, governance, IT, engineering, health & safety, education and construction sectors in South Africa, and is also used by the South African Qualifications Authority. It is also being used by other qualification authorities within the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) to produce secure and dynamic e-Certificates and PrivySeals to verify qualifications in real-time.
“We encourage all of our students to be pioneers in grasping the opportunities and challenges around digital identity. The value of the genuine, the original, the untarnishable is becoming greater every day. Trust is a critical currency in the digital world and this digital certification will build trust between service partners in the evolving fourth industrial revolution,” says Henley Africa’s Foster-Pedley. “Backing up their professional qualifications with this technology will help them to build their businesses and reputations with confidence.”
• Henley Business School Africa is a leading global business school with campuses in Europe, Asia and Africa. It holds elite triple international accreditation; has the number 1 business school alumni network in the world for potential to network (Economist 2017); and is the number 1 African-accredited and -campused business school in the world for executive education (FT 2018, 2020), as well as the number 1 MBA business school in South Africa as rated by corporate SA (PMR.Africa 2018, 2019, 2020).