There’s a distinct worry in the higher education industry that “Chinese students might think cheating is their only choice” to get into American schools, Inside Higher Ed’s Elizabeth Redden reports from this week’s Overseas Association for College Admission Counseling conference.
Specifically, according to Redden, counselors are worried about Chinese students faking transcripts and admissions letters, or even more actively cheating on the tests themselves. One service targeted at Chinese students that was mentioned at the conference sends answers over a wireless-enabled watch, as highlighted in a China Newsweek article.
“There’s a perception in China that the system is rigged, that if you pay enough money you’re going to get the results that you want,” Terry Crawford, the CEO of a video interviewing company based in Beijing, said at OACAL, according to Redden.
This might have a negative impact on Chinese students who don’t want to cheat, but may feel that there’s no other way to get into an American college.
“If you like cheating, then that’s very exciting because you realise how easy it is,” said Tomer Rothschild, co-founder of a company that helps Chinese students apply to American colleges, Redden reports. “But assuming you don’t get that same stimulation from cheating, imagine if you just want to play by the rules — how do you feel?”
The widespread cheating allegedly seen in China also appears to be evident in the US. In May, 15 Chinese nationals living in the US were charged with hiring imposters to pose as Chinese students in tests such as the SAT.
The Chinese nationals would charge up to $US6,000 for an imposter to take the test, according to a Department of Justice indictment.
It appears this mentality may carry over to Chinese students actually studying at American schools. Roughly 8,000 Chinese students were expelled from US colleges and universities last year, according to a recent report from WholeRen Education, and 80.55% of these dismissals “resulted from academic dishonesty or low academic performances.”
Additionally, just over 50% of the students had a GPA lower than a 2.0 — typically, a C.
“Chinese students used to be considered top-notch but over the past five years their image has changed completely — wealthy kids who cheat,” Chen Hang, chief development officer at WholeRen, told The Wall Street Journal’s China Real Time blog.
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