Chinese students get fraudulent French degrees

9th September 2009, Comments 0 comments

Chinese students allowed to study in France with inadequate levels of French are awarded with fraudulent diplomas in Sud Toulon Var university.

Paris – French academics bent university rules to award degrees to Chinese students who did not merit them, Higher Education Minister Valerie Pecresse said Tuesday, ordering prosecutors to investigate.

The minister spoke after seeing the results of an investigation into the Sud Toulon Var university, which reportedly handed out diplomas to hundreds of Chinese students in exchange for corrupt payments to academics.

The report "brought to light serious irregularities in the application of regulations governing the admission of foreign students and the assessment of their studies at Sud Toulon Var," she said in a statement.

Education inspectors' findings will be passed to prosecutors already attached to a judicial inquiry, she said, adding that: "The chancellor of the university holds personal responsibility in this matter."

Pecresse ordered a probe in April after reports that French academics were allowing Chinese students with inadequate levels of French to study and dishing out qualifications in return for cash.

Press reports alleged the practice was common in other institutions, but so far officials have only publicly confirmed Sud Toulon Var.

The number of Chinese studying in France exploded from only 2,000 in 1999 to 22,452 in 2007, making them the second biggest foreign student population behind Morocco.

AFP / Expatica

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