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ZIMCHE speaks on fake degrees

Story by Tarirai Madhuyu

The Zimbabwe Council of Higher Education (ZIMCHE) says the International Institute of Philanthropy (IIP) is not registered by the council, hence the degrees being issued by the organisation are not recognised in Zimbabwe.

Speaking at a media briefing in Harare this Tuesday, Zimbabwe Council of Higher Education (ZIMCHE) chief executive officer, Professor Kuzvinetsa Nzvimbo clarified the procedures that institutions of higher learning must follow in issuing honorary degrees in the country, adding that the International Institute of Philanthropy has since been instructed to withdraw honorary degrees it has issued.

“The ZIMCHE has explicitly instructed the IIP to withdraw all awarded degrees. This means that the university is obligated to publicly retract the awards and inform the recipients accordingly. Allowing unregistered and unaccredited institutions to award honorary doctorates in Zimbabwe poses significant risks to the integrity and reputation of the country’s higher education system, potentially impacting negatively, regional and international recognition of our university qualifications offered in Zimbabwe’s universities. Awarding of unregulated honorary doctorates also affects the intellectual, professional, moral and ethical standing of the recipients,” he said.

Professor Nzvimbo also instructed the institution to cease operations and urged beneficiaries not to use titles awarded by unregistered institutions.

He said, “ZIMCHE has instructed that the IIP should forthwith cease all activities that violate the constitution of Zimbabwe, the ZIMCHE Act, the criminal law act, and any other laws that regulate the higher education standards, especially the awarding of degrees and publicly withdraw all awarded degrees and inform all recipients. Unfortunately, for those who received the honorary doctorates from the IIP, the awards become essentially null and void.”

The Sharda University of India, Parul University, the University of Nicosia, and the Near East University are some of the universities that are not accredited by ZIMCHE.

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