Degrees for Sale: The Fight Against Fake Universities in China

Degrees for Sale: The Fight Against Fake Universities in China
Jun 30, 2015 By

Editor's Note: What do China's Tianjin University of Economics and Business, and Southwest University have in common? They're both completely fake. Fake universities have become a growing issue in China over the past few years. China recently cracked down on 118 fake universities, and had previously closed 211 of them. Fake universities are generally online only and scam innocent (and not-so innocent) students into handing over cash for a forged diploma. Luckily, my PhD from Wuhan People's Central University of Upholstery is totally legit...

In China, the land of fake watches, and fake designer sunglasses, fake universities are a continuing issue. A fake university is an uncredited institute that hands diplomas to students for cash or scams students into enrolling. Starting in 2013, China has cracked down on 210 fake universities in three rounds of investigations.

Fake diplomas from real universities can be purchased too. It is estimated that there are over 1,000 sellers of fake diplomas on the Internet with prices for a degree ranging from 180 to 4500 Yuan. The diplomas are sent to “graduates,” in a few days time at the fastest- some sellers even offer overnight processing.

China recently published a new list of 118 fake universities from a fourth round of investigation. The universities are in 25 different provinces and municipalities including Beijing, Shanghai, Hebei, and Hubei.

What are the characteristics of a fake university? Here are nine characteristics common to all Chinese fake universities:

1) Fake Universities Market to a Low-Educated Population

If a university program sounds too good to be true, chances are it is. Fake universities often tell students that they do not need to take the college entrance exam to enroll and only need a telephone interview.

Students who score poorly on the gaokao, and who did not do well in school, think that this sounds like a great deal. These “low-educated” students are more easily tricked by fake universities.

2) Fake Universities Are Not Included in the “2015 National College List”

This one is a no-brainer. The Ministry of Education releases a national college list every year. This year it was released on May 21. 2,845 colleges and universities were included in the list.

If a school seems sketchy, check the list before applying. Even if the name sounds familiar, the school may not be real. One fake university in Guangxi stole its name from another private university that closed down in the 1980s.

3) They Are Also Not Listed in Official List of Private Schools

36 of the fake universities found in this round of investigation were located in Beijing. Beijing recently put out a list of private universities and other private institutions that offer higher education. The list goes by the lengthy name of, “2014 Private Universities and Other Private Institutions of Higher Education Annual Test Results.”

The private institutes on the official list are legit and have been approved by local education authorities. Anything else is a fake university.

4) The Names of Fake Universities Are Similar to Real Ones

University of International Business and Economics, Capital University of Economics and Business, Hebei University of Economics and Business, and Shanghai University of International Business and Economics are real universities. However, Tianjin University of Economics and Business, Southwest University of Economics, and Sichuan University of Economics and Business are not real universities.

The real-sounding names of fake universities could in fact trick students who do not know better (or employers who hire their diploma-holders).

5) Fake Universities Don't Own Their Own Domain Name

Most fake universities don't actually own the domain name of their so-called school. 65 of the 118  recently caught fake universities did not own the domain name of their university. Other fake universities plagiarized or stole records from real universities.

6) They Have IP Addresses in Other Countries

The IP addresses of the 118 fake universities were located in regions and countries outside of Mainland China including Hong Kong, the United States, and South Korea.

This makes it easy for fake universities to try to skirt the law in China. There are more and more fake Chinese universities popping up every year registered with foreign domains. The cost to run a fake university online is also very low, making it a lucrative business for cyber criminals.

7) Fake Universities Plagiarize Information, News and Images from Real Universities

Fake universities patch together their own websites from content stolen from official websites of real universities in order to trick (often low-educated) applicants.

8) They Offer “Diploma Inquires,” on Their Website

The point of a fake university is to sell forged diplomas and certificates. On the so-called official websites of fake universities there are often pages for “diploma inquiries,” and “certificate inquiries.”

9) Victims or Clients Do No Report Them

Some young Chinese are victims of fake universities, but others know exactly what they are buying. The victims are those who are tricked by the websites, and are confused enough to enroll. Others know that the diplomas offered are fake and seek them out. Both types who enroll in fake universities tend to not report them.


Source: QQ News

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Keywords: fake diplomas in China fake universities in China


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creating a resume

Jul 08, 2015 18:49 Report Abuse



They forget to mention that some actual schools might teach for reals, but were not given authorization by the local education departments because of clause zero: Hongbao not big enough. There probably some of those on the list of alleged fake institutions they 'cracked down on'. In fact, how can you 'crack down' on an online scam? Take down a webpage? Arrest the culprit? Crackdown is a term used for more meaningful interventions, like shutting down schools that didn't pay their hongbao.

Jun 30, 2015 23:46 Report Abuse



tuition = degree is the law of the land anyway, why require a waiting period?

Jun 30, 2015 20:21 Report Abuse



Fakes are a sign of a healthy industry. It must be good if it's worth faking.

Jun 30, 2015 13:55 Report Abuse



Obviously your brain runs on gutter oil, sign of a healthy wumao. LOL

Jun 30, 2015 17:25 Report Abuse



Hahahahaha---Don't go to a fake university, Chinese students! Go to a real fake university, where you will be passed in classes that you do not attend, your professors copied their dissertation off the internet, and you learn by memorizing your textbooks! China isn't cracking down on these universities because they are hurting is cracking down on these universities because it is hurting their shit 'real' universities--many of which got to be real through hongbao bribes.

Jun 30, 2015 11:45 Report Abuse



i have to side with this. although you still need to pay 4*1 year tuiton fees, which takes a lot of time for someone applying to their dream job next month...

Jul 03, 2015 01:55 Report Abuse



a fight against fraud in fraud land?

Jun 30, 2015 09:44 Report Abuse



#7 in China, REAL universities plagiarize Information and Images (promotional videos) from other universities. Why should fake universities be any different?

Jun 30, 2015 04:15 Report Abuse



I assume you are referring to the video with the girl that is in an Astronaut suit that a Chinese university stole from Japan? I don't know if they admitted to stealing it but they certainly took it down pretty quick.

Jun 30, 2015 23:53 Report Abuse



What's the point in getting an unaccredited fake degree? Surely you should save up and make friends with someone who works at an accredited institute

Jun 30, 2015 01:38 Report Abuse