Country in Focus – China

Country in Focus – China
18/11/2022 Udomo Ali

The Challenge of Bogus Qualifications and Fake Institutions in Chinese Education

Around seven million students graduated from Chinese colleges during the summer, and there is a lot of pressure on graduates to find employment that pays well.   However it is also very simple for anybody in China to buy a phoney degree, which contributes to the already high levels of competition.

The trial of a former official of the Ministry of Education in China, accused of defrauding students wishing to study in the United States, began on July 3rd in Beijing. It is alleged, he and three other individuals pretended to work for a fictional American university known as ‘Nation University’.

Con artists in China don’t only target students trying to further their education; they also target businesses looking to enhance their staff resumes with fabricated academic successes. In April, nine people were put on trial in Beijing for allegedly selling fake degree certificates from fictitious American universities. They charged up to 190,000 yuan for each diploma, with the majority of their customers being executives working for large companies. The businesses fulfilled their obligations by paying the required fees, and executives attended classes but were granted degrees without having to pass any exams.

For people who do not have the financial means to purchase a degree from a bogus institution in another country, more than a hundred bogus Chinese institutions are now offering certificates for sale. The majority of them have websites and utilise names that are very similar to those of legitimate educational institutions. Some criminals even utilise photos that have been digitally altered to attract victims.

However, computerised anti-fraud systems are slowly being implemented to prevent individuals with questionable certifications from being hired by the government. The validity of degrees is also under increasing scrutiny by domestic and international businesses in China. The Beijing incident in April was brought to light when the degree awarded to one of the victims by ‘Abraham Lincoln University’ for a doctorate in business administration did not pass an authenticity test. She contacted the authorities.

Fraudsters have not yet been deterred by prosecutions, and would-be students continue to attempt to buy their way into more successful professions. In China’s competitive employment market, having a degree might make all the difference. In some instances, fee-paying students are aware that they are matriculating with a bogus university; however, they do so because they believe it a convenient way to obtain a diploma.

As with all verifications, Qualification Check uses a thorough procedure to check and authenticate credentials and check the accreditation of universities and institutions. If you have any questions or concerns about the authenticity of an award, don’t hesitate to contact us at [email protected].

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