Mon, Feb 18, 2019 - Page 3 News List

Chinese ‘fake’ universities hard to distinguish: MAC

By Chung Li-hua  /  Staff reporter

Taiwanese planning to study in China should collect more information before traveling there, as some Chinese schools might be fraudulent “diploma mills” or not as prominent as their names make them sound, the Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) said on Saturday.

After the college entrance examinations ended late last month, the Chinese Ministry of Education announced a list of 336 schools that would recruit Taiwanese.

However, prospective students should watch out while applying for Chinese schools, as some students have reported being fooled by seemingly impressive school names, the council said.

In June last year, the Chinese Communist Party-run People’s Daily publicized a list of 392 “fake schools,” of which 151 claim to be located in Beijing, 30 in Shanghai, 25 in Shandong Province and 12 in Guangdong Province.

Chinese-language Web site (上大學) has since 2013 been exposing fake schools, including many identifying themselves with “Chinese,” “Beijing” or Huabei (華北) to appear more impressive.

Some fake schools have names that resemble those of genuine ones, with only a few different characters.

For example, a fake school named “Guangzhou Polytechnic College” tried to sound like Guangdong Polytechnic College, a real establishment in Guangdong Province’s Zhaoqing City.

Another fake school named “Guangdong College of Science and Trade” sounded a lot like the Guangdong Vocational College of Science and Trade, but the latter is the true one.

Chinese media have reported that some fake universities are set up by fraud rings, which also provide fake diplomas.

Chinese education ministry data showed that there are 2,631 universities in China, including 265 independent colleges.

While public schools are usually better than private ones in China, public schools are allowed to establish private colleges and Taiwanese students are often unfamiliar with the private branches’ inferior status.

For instance, Sun Yat-sen University in Guangzhou is one of the schools included in Project 985, an educational scheme announced in 1998 to build first-class universities, but the university’s Nanfang College is a third-tier institution.

Information about Chinese higher education and diplomas recognized by Taiwan can be accessed on a dedicated MAC Web page, the council said, urging prospective students to check the page before enrolling.

The Straits Exchange Foundation last year set up a telephone hotline (02) 2175-7047 for Taiwanese studying or working in China.

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