How Degree Certificate Can Be Revoked

The higher institutions of learning have the right and power to revoke the certificate of graduates. But, it should be on the ground of one or more academic misconducts and bad behaviors. Every tertiary institution awards graduates degree certificates based on the students’ academic performances and integrity tests. No school will award a graduate whose integrity test is questionable.  

Tertiary institutions frown at academic misconducts, such as, examination malpractice, falsification, plagiarism, abuse of credentials, admission fraud etc. And the school authorities cannot overlook the unacceptable acts or take them with a jaundiced view. All the despicable acts dictate the revocation of certificates, even after many years of graduation. 

A lot of prominent people have experienced the revocation of certificates in times past. Universitat Bayreuth revoked the German defence Minister, Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg’s certificate for plagiarizing parts of his legal doctorate. Also among numerous others, the University of Edinburgh revoked the Honorary Degree certificate given to the former president of Zimbabwe, Robert Mugabe. They accused him of disrupting the education sector in his country and his tyrannical regime. 

Reasons For Degree Revocation

  1. Cheating 

Cheating is a fraud. It happens when a student wants to pass by being dubious. It can occur ranging from copying from others or an attempt to copy in a given assignment, test or examination, to using unauthorized materials, written notes tucked somewhere, to having the examination questions prior to the exam date, to engaging in group sittings or collaboration in the exam hall, to programming the calculator for answers, using electronic devices for cheating, to impersonation etc. 

  1.  Plagiarism 

This is an act against the copyright law. It is the use of another person’s intellectual work without referencing the owner or author. It is a serious crime under the law. Any graduate who plagiarizes another person’s work is liable to see his/her certificate withdrawn without any justification. What qualifies a person as a graduate is his/her intellectual soundness. Ipso facto, anyone who copies the work of another person without giving reference to its source is lazy, fake and unworthy of the degree. 

  1. Course Materials 

Alternating course materials is bad. Some lecturers put their  course materials in book formats. However, some students and postgraduate students change the materials to soft copies. They tend to use the materials without buying them. This can lead to expulsion of degree revocation, if caught. Some engage in selling of lecturers course materials, releasing handouts et al. 

  1. Theft and Damaging Of The School Property. 

Stealing of the school’s and someone’s properties is a big crime. If the mystery of a stolen property or a property damaged by a former student is revealed after many years, the management will investigate the matter. And they have the power to revoke the property of anyone that is culpable. 

  1. Abuse of Credentials 

This, at first, can happen when someone uses an honorary degree to secure employment. The university authority can rescind the degree. Another one occurs when someone uses a doctorate degree to secure employment as a medical doctor. This may warrant a revocation from the tertiary institution. 

  1. Lack of Integrity or Humanity

The school authority can revoke the degree of someone that is brutal, such like a dictator or totalitarian. Also, the school can revoke the certificate of someone who is popular for being bad. 

The Consequence Of Certificate Revocation On Graduates 

  1. Loss of Job

This often affects graduates who use their certificates to secure employment. Recruitment into positions in organizations comes with the quality of degree of the graduates. The certificate is a proven testament of the graduates’ skills, knowledge, capacity and integrity test. So, any time a higher institution revokes someone’s certificate, such a person will lose his/her job because the credibility of his competence has been revoked. 

  1. Lack Of Trust

In fact, the noise that encompasses the proceeding of the revocation of certificate births disrespect on one’s integrity. When found guilty, the graduate will lose the trust that people have for him/her. They will see that person as fraudulent. This may have much psychological effect on the graduate, and it may lead to stigmatization from people. Above all, no organization will like to associate with the person again. 

  1. Legal Prosecution 

In a case when someone uses a Doctorate of English and Literature to be employed as a medical doctor, that is an abuse of credentials. Such a person can face the full wrath of the law, if the employer charges him/her to court. 

The Way To Avoid Revocation Of Degree 

The school authority always lets the alleged person know about the impending revocation of certificates. They will tell him or her his/her offence and even question him. No one wakes up to see his academic degree rescinded unless s/he has prior knowledge of it. So, immediately the affected person hears of it. S/he should seek legal counsel from his lawyer. The lawyer should be proactive before the matter comes to the hearing of the public. By doing this, if the affected person is not guilty, it will save his/her image. Nonetheless, there is not much that can be done if the person is guilty. This means that the best way to avoid the revocation of certificate is by being honest and law-abiding in everything in life, not just on campus alone. 

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