Moving to

I'm moving to Mostly.

I plan to use that site as a "self-marketing website" of sorts and to manage content in a way that I would otherwise not be able to do on blogger alone.

This blog will stay, ostensibly for more provisional ideas prior to refinement. I'll be gradually moving content (I still like) over to the other website. =)

Monday, January 16, 2012

Improving the Verification of Credentials for Foreign Professionals

In view of the fact of endemic college application fraud in China and India (supported by a cottage industry of "Application Agencies"), it would not be surprising that application fraud from those countries would extend to the realm of work permit and Permanent Residency applications. In fact, it seems that the most distrustful of college applications from China turn out to be college professors who are themselves China nationals. (I put it down to it being likely that they have encountered the "Application Agencies" on their visits home.)

Perhaps higher verification standards should be used by the Singapore government for verifying the credentials of foreign professionals. The both applications for Permanent Residency and Employment Passes require documentary evidence of degrees and diplomas. This takes the form of originals which are viewed and returned. The high level of professionalism of the fraud industry would make it hard for ICA staff to detect fraud even with their training and experience.

Now, applications for postgraduate studies typically require original transcripts, either with the application or before an offer is made (scans are accepted as a preliminary in those cases). These transcripts are required to have been sent directly from the degree awarding institution to the assessing body at the applicant's own expense (typically less than SGD 20). This additional layer of security might reduce fraud. Or, it might turn out to be another iteration in the fraud arms race. Ultimately, I see a business opportunity for Chinese and Indian university registrars. (Which may end with fraud penetrating the university registrar, leading eventually to fraudulent grades, and finally a painful bursting of the fraud bubble.)

The future has always been bright for the street smart and amoral.

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