French university alleges China student fraud
Fraudsters have been charging Chinese students thousands of euros to help them enrol in degree courses in France, a Paris university said Friday.
Jean-Loup Salzmann, president of Paris XVIII, one of the faculties of Paris University, said he had recently lodged a judicial complaint over Chinese students who he said were helped to apply despite not speaking French.
He alleged the existence of "a network of Chinese people who help Chinese students enrol and the students give them a lot of money for it... two to three thousand euros", in comments to AFP on Friday.
"By asking around, we found that some Chinese students did not speak very good French," he said, estimating that a handful of those who enrolled in his faculty in 2009 turned out to have no certificates of language proficiency.
"When these students were summoned, they did not turn up," he said.
He added that the students involved were expelled and two administrative staff and one teacher were also disciplined over the case.
French President Nicolas Sarkozy hailed Franco-Chinese education programs during a state visit last week by China's President Hu Jintao, saying France was host to nearly 30,000 Chinese students and aimed to double that number.
The president of a university in the southern French town of Toulon, Laroussi Oueslati, was sentenced to jail in September, as well as two Chinese students, over irregularities in admissions of candidates from China.
Higher Education Minister Valerie Pecresse has said France must "radically reform the system of selection for Chinese students".
© 2010 AFP