Chinese authorities have identified sixty “bogus” colleges nationwide. The phoney schools have been added to the negative list, as millions of students who wrote this year’s national college entrance examination begin to apply for a seat for the fall semester.
Investigative reports have found some 150 such colleges last year.
The annual negative list is created and published to warn students and their parents about fancy-named schools which don’t really exist beyond their web pages.
The schools use variations of familiar school names to target students who have scored poorly for their exams and are desperate for a chance to go to college.
Many such schools have their own web page purporting to show they have been registered with the Ministry of Education and are operating as fully-qualified higher education institutions.
Over nine million students sat the national college entrance exam this past June.
College enrollment starts today and will last for over a month. The fake schools are, at best, diploma mills or, at worst, outright financial scams that cheat students out of a big fee and offer nothing in return.
Experts say students and parents who have limited access to the officially announced list of qualified schools may easily fall victim to those traps.
Poor students from remote areas are especially vulnarable. There have been cases where students who were lured away from home by a fake school were effectively trapped because they couldn’t afford to travel back.
Experts from the organization publishing the negative list say students should be extra careful when they look for a prospective college.
The Ministry of Education regularly updates its list of qualified colleges and universities and this list is publicly available.
Students can visit the ministry’s website or they can obtain a hard copy of the list at most high schools.