China has named and shamed 30 “fake universities”, warning millions of students to steer clear of the bogus institutions as they prepare to enter higher education.
The fraudulent universities are spread across 12 Chinese provinces, including Beijing and Shanghai, the country’s official news agency, Xinhua, reported on Tuesday.
The institutions are part of a wider racket in which fraudsters trick prospective students into sending tuition fees to companies posing as legitimate higher education providers.
But the deception does not always stop there: there have been reports of Chinese students spending years at fake bricks and mortar colleges only to discover on the eve of graduation that they have been duped into studying for worthless degrees.
China’s fake universities often have strikingly similar names to bona fide schools. Among the 30 institutions denounced this week are the Beijing Xinghua University, the Beijing Foreign Affairs Studies College, the Sichuan Vocational University of Technology and the Beijing Great Wall Research and Studies Institute.