University of Johannesburg launches blockchain-based certificates

The University of Johannesburg (UJ) has implemented blockchain-based certificates for its graduates to improve security features related to the certification process.

Each qualification document issued from this year onwards will feature a QR code unique to the holder, which anyone can scan to verify the information on the certificate.

UJ is the first South African higher-education institution to implement a blockchain-based approach, and according to the university, the technology helps prevent fraud and stop counterfeiting.

Tinus van Zyl, UJ’s senior director of central academic administration, said their digital certification system offers several benefits.

“The Digital Certificate system, which was introduced a while back, gave graduates access to their certificates digitally and assisted in securely sharing these certificates with third parties or prospective employers, at no cost,” he said.

“The new blockchain-based certificate features will enhance the security of certificates even more.”

The addition of a unique QR code to each document allows potential employers and third parties to verify the certification.

“The public is now able to validate the awarded qualifications for UJ graduates without having to contact the University or having to go through a verification agency, just by scanning the QR code on the certificate and best of all, at no cost,” Van Zyl said.

UJ’s registrar, Kinta Burger, explained that the new blockchain-based qualification documents would also help guard the university’s reputation and the integrity of its qualifications.

UJ was the first higher-education institution in South Africa to implement digital certificates, which allowed graduates to view and order lost or damaged certificates.

It also helps graduates to share their documents securely with potential employers.

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University of Johannesburg launches blockchain-based certificates