University of Johannesburg first in South Africa to issue blockchain-based certifications


The University of Johannesburg (UJ) is pioneering the way in South African education by issuing degrees and other certifications that can be verified on a blockchain


The immutability of blockchain-based certificates makes it virtually impossible to engage in certificate fraud, but it also allows anyone to check its authenticity by simply scanning a QR code printed on the certificate

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“This continuous improvement strategy and use of cutting-edge technology are at the heart of our philosophy,” said UJ Registrar Kinta Burger. The university was also the first in South Africa to issue digital certificates many years ago

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Starting this year, all certificates issued by the UJ will include a QR code that can be scanned by anyone wanting to verify the information and legitimacy of a certificate.

“The new blockchain-based certificate features will enhance the security of certificates,” said Tinus van Zyl, senior director of central academic administration at the university. The public can validate the awarded qualifications without the need to contact the university or having to go through a verification agency.

Against the backdrop of high unemployment levels in South Africa, which has led to many job seekers to counterfeit qualifications, employers in South Africa have increasingly become reliant on external service providers to do background checks on potential employees.

“The new blockchain-based certificates will not only protect the university’s certificates from fraud but also preserve the reputation of the institution and the integrity of qualifications,” said Burger. 

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