Half a month before millions of high schoolers take China’s national college entrance exam, a new batch of fake colleges has been exposed.
A list released last week on sdaxue.com, a site that helps students choose higher educational institutions, exposed 73 Chinese universities or colleges as unaccredited diploma mills. The website has published its annual list of fake schools since 2013. This list pushes the total number of phony colleges exposed to over 400.
On the list are 23 schools in Beijing where many of the country’s top universities are located. Shandong was second, with eight fake colleges, while Shanghai has seven.
Names of institutions are usually slightly altered versions of the names of real universities and colleges to confuse prospective students. Accreditation is usually fabricated or out of date. According to the website, 66 of the 73 bogus colleges were not on the college list published by the Ministry of Education (MOE), while 6 used old names of legal colleges. One used an alternative name of a Party school in Beijing.
These colleges usually woo and swindle high school graduates through slick recruitment sites.
Xinhua reporters contacted a dozen of them, all supposedly located in Beijing, but none of their phone numbers were available. Most of their addresses are in the suburbs, making them hard to find. Some, such as the address of "Beijing Normal University of Science and Technology," simply do not exist.
"Approved by the Beijing Municipal Education Commission, our college trains talent for education and global labor services," reads the website of Beijing Institute of Civil Engineering and Architecture, reportedly located in Beijing’s Chaoyang District. The college claims more than 16,500 graduates and excellent teaching facilities. Xinhua reporters could not locate the college at its address, although a vocational school was found. One of the school staff confirmed that no other college is located there, and that the vocational school was the only education institution in the vicinity.