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High school graduates warned of fake universities

By ZOU SHUO | CHINA DAILY | Updated: 2023-07-15 06:52

Education authorities and experts have warned high school graduates to not fall for tricks by fake universities as they weigh their college options.[Photo/VCG]

Education authorities and experts have warned high school graduates to not fall for tricks by fake universities as they weigh their college options.

A list of hundreds of fake universities has been trending online to remind students who have not performed well in the national college entrance exam, or gaokao, not to enroll in such universities.

The universities usually have names similar to legitimate ones.

For example, one of the fake universities is named China University of Posts and Telecommunications, similar to Beijing University of Posts and Telecommunications and Nanjing University of Posts and Telecommunications, both well-known universities in China.

The universities usually claim that as long as the students pay enough money, they can attend no matter their gaokao score. Some said they have an "enrollment quota from insiders".

Some of the institutions may cooperate with standard universities to open "training institutions", but then tell parents and students that they are part of the university.

The Ministry of Education has reminded students and parents to check the university's authenticity after they receive admission letters.

Moreover, the ministry said standard enrollment does not involve any monetary transaction and if an institution asks for money for an enrollment quota, they are not to be believed, the ministry said.

However, some parents and students with low gaokao scores have fallen for such tricks.

In one case, a man in Jiangsu province surnamed Qiang told a friend that he could help the man's son, who did not perform well in the gaokao, convincing the man that he has ways to help his son attend college if he paid enough money.

Qiang told the man that his son had been admitted to the university and gave him a fake admission letter, but he could not enter the campus due to the COVID-19 epidemic.

Similarly, Qiang tricked another man into paying him money to get his son into university.

After a year, when the epidemic was no longer a concern, the two men found they had been tricked.

A court in Changzhou, Jiangsu found that the two men had paid Qiang more than 4.7 million yuan ($670,000) in total. The court sentenced Qiang to 12 years and six months in prison plus a fine of 310,000 yuan.

One woman told Beijing Daily that her little brother almost fell for such a trick. Her brother took the gaokao last year but his score would only qualify him to attend a vocational college. As he waited to get an admission letter, he also got one from a university in Huanggang, Hubei province.

However, he had not applied to the university and only added the WeChat of a person who claimed to be the university's admission official and sent him his address and ID number.

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