‘Dozens’ of forged equivalency certificates for university entry uncovered

An undated photo of the entrance of the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research. (Photo: Petra)
(Photo: Jordan News)
AMMAN — A group of students have submitted “dozens” of forged equivalency certificates to the Unified Admissions Department at the Ministry of Higher Education for enrollment at Jordanian universities this year.اضافة اعلان

In an interview with Jordan News, Muhannad Al-Khatib, media spokesperson for the Ministry of Higher Education, said that this is the first time this year that such forgeries have been discovered.

Students applying for university in Jordan must submit their secondary school certificates to the Recognition and Certificates Equivalency Directorate at the ministry. The directorate then issues students with equivalency certificates that they then submit as part of their application for admission to a Jordanian university.

Staff at the Unified Admissions Coordination Unit found a number of suspect or incorrect certificates among those they received recently from students applying for admission to local universities. The certificates were sent to the ministry which confirmed they were not issued by the equivalency directorate.

“This is the first time that we have observed such an attempt this year. We rechecked all equivalency certificates that were presented to us to ensure that they were issued correctly due to the sensitivity of this matter,” Khatib said. He said that based on this certificate a student may be accepted to university. If such a certificate is forged as in this case, the student submitting is taking someone else’s place at university.

“These applications have been canceled and not counted towards admission, and we referred those who submitted them to the public prosecutor to take legal action as needed on charges of using forged documents,” Khatib said of the students who submitted the forged certificates.

“When issuing letters of acceptance to universities we ask universities not to complete the acceptance procedures of these students before they submit all the original documents duly certified, and thus the probability of forgery is zero percent,” he said.

Samih Khreis, a lawyer, said that forgery is altering the truth or distorting a certain document: “From what we know about the forgery of secondary school equivalency documents, we assume that they made a document in the name of the Ministry of Higher Education, meaning that it was not issued by the real concerned authority, which they submitted to the Unified Admissions Department as the real document.”

“If this is what happened, then it is considered criminal fraud. The perpetrator of this act is subject to legal accountability before the criminal court on charges of forging official documents. This is not a simple matter at all, and its consequences are big.”

When Khreis was asked about the possible penalties for this felony, he said: “The penalty for criminal forgery of official papers is a minimum of three years in prison with hard labor if the suspect is found guilty.”

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