According to a recent study done at the University of Southern California, nearly two thirds of current undergraduates from China studying in the U.S. used an application consultant to gain admission.
One of the most common fraudulent practices is transcript. alteration, in which the parents and student obtain the cooperation of their school in China to issue a false, enhanced transcript, in exchange for an “administration fee.”
Some application consultants even refuse to allow the applicant to see their application documents once the contract is signed. The applicant’s “personalized” admissions essay, letters of reference, and phoneyed internships are all taken care of.In some cases, paid stand-ins with good English skills are provided to impersonate the applicant and convince the university that the applicant’s English language capabilities are up to standard. As a result, several US universities reported newly enrolled students from China whose English language abilities were far short of what’s required in the classroom.
First and perhaps most damaging in the long run, a whole host of bright, ambitious, young Chinese people are effectively being taught by their parents and teachers at home that lying and cheating is an OK way to get ahead in life, based on the excuse that competition is white hot.
Second, this phenomenon is generating a bad reputation for China and her students heading abroad, even those who have not engaged in any monkey business in the application process.
Respected author Malcolm Gladstone wrote a lengthy and detailed analysis in the February 14 and 21, 2011, issue of The New Yorker magazine, examining how the U.S. News and World Report ranking is seriously flawed in methodology; and tends to favor wealthy private universities. Many first-rate schools, including state and regional ones, are placed way down the list; but offer excellent programs and facilities.
An example where institutionalized lies are easier for families and individuals to cope with than direct and personal lies.