A Quick Study: Bogus degrees from non-existent colleges cause headaches for employers
ALMOST 7m students are graduating from Chinese universities this summer, and there is plenty of pressure to turn newly minted qualifications into well-paid jobs. The competition is increased by the ease with which almost anyone in China can buy a fake degree.
On July 3rd a former Ministry of Education official went on trial in Beijing charged with swindling students who hoped to study in America. The man, and three others, are alleged to have posed as agents for a non-existent American college called “Nation University”.
As well as ripping off aspiring students, Chinese crooks also cater to businessmen who want to plump up their CVs. In April nine people stood trial in the capital charged with selling fake degree certificates from non-existent American colleges. They charged up to 190,000 yuan ($30,000) each, selling the diplomas mainly to corporate executives. The businessmen paid up, went to a few classes and received the diplomas, with no exam required.
For those who cannot afford a degree from a fake foreign university, more than 100 fake Chinese universities now offer diplomas for sale. Many of them have websites and use names similar to those of real colleges. Some even use doctored photographs to advertise their qualifications: one image online shows a group of students said to be from the non-existent Wuhan University of Industry and Commerce standing in Tiananmen Square—the original photograph shows the same group under a banner proclaiming who they really are: students from the Beijing Institute of Petrochemical Technology.