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A leading UK & South African academic is helping to stop degree fraud in Southern Africa with the launch of a new business.

Martin Hall, former Vice-Chancellor of the University of Salford and Deputy Vice Chancellor of the University of Cape Town, has been appointed non-executive director of Advanced Secure Technologies, to support the company’s mission to stop degree fraud and the launch of a new international subsidiary in Cape Town.

The business’s UK-based parent company, Advanced Secure Technologies, merges security expertise with innovative technologies to provide high-security solutions that protect organisations within the education and corporate sectors from fraud.

Martin Hall joins Advanced Secure Technologies to stop fraud in Southern Africa
Kevin Bassett, Managing Director & Martin Hall

 

Degree fraud can have a damaging effect on businesses, wasting their resources and damaging their reputations.

Just last month, South Africa had a degree fraud scandal, where a leading economist was fired from the Presidential Economic Advisory Council after it was found she had a fraudulent PhD from the London School of Economics.

Professor Hall said this demonstrates why the work of Advanced Secure is “very important and needed”.

“The point of a degree or qualification is that it is earned. Degree fraud is incredibly prevalent, much more than people know, and it’s growing. Advanced Secure is not just a tech company doing some obscure work behind the scenes; it’s protecting everybody – higher and further education institutions, future employers, and students. With AI, you can make perfect copies of anything. That’s why it’s more important than ever that a system like Advanced Secure is in place for checking credentials.”

Advanced Secure already has a significant presence in Southern Africa and partners with several major universities, through which it works with more than 30% of the student market.

Kevin Bassett, Managing Director of Advanced Secure Technologies, said: “Having an office in Cape Town will mean that we can easily visit any university in Southern Africa where an issue might have arisen. Considering the size and importance of the South African market, it makes sense to have a presence here.

“It also means we can create opportunities and employment for people, which is a key part of our business and a way for us to put something back into the community.” 

Kevin said Martin will be an asset to the business as it grows Advanced Secure South Africa alongside other international operations.

Martin Hall is a renowned academic and former Chair of the board of JISC, which provides digital services to the UK’s higher education sector.

“We wanted Martin’s input into the business due to his extensive knowledge of the HE sector and his digital background,” said Kevin. “From a business point of view, he brings insight into and creates connections between these two key markets. His senior academic and digital transformation background is the perfect mix.”