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Xiamen University has dismissed a professor who forged her PhD diploma.
Xiamen University in East China's Fujian province confirmed to the Xiamen Daily newspaper on Wednesday that Fu Jin, a professor at Medical College who claimed to have a pharmacology PhD diploma from Columbia University, forged her diploma.
Fu has acknowledged that her degree was fake, the report said.
The university said it has dismissed the professor and will offer a deep apology to students, faculty members and the public.
Fang Zhouzi, a famous fraud fighter, accused Fu of defrauding her degree in a post on his Sina micro blog.
Fang wrote that he began investigating her education background after he received information from an unnamed source who claimed to have worked at Columbia University.
Fang said his suspicion grew after he discovered that the PhD major on the resume on the website of Xiamen University's Medical College was different from that on the website of the university's School of Pharmaceutical Sciences.
"How could a person forget her own major?" he asked.
Xiamen University's information office could not be reached for comment.
According to Xiamen Daily, Fu began working as a visiting professor at Xiamen University's Medical College in 2004, when she applied with a forged diploma from Columbia University. She became a full-time faculty in 2009.
The university acknowledged their negligence in identifying the degree, the report said.
The university said it did not verify the authenticity of Fu's diploma when she applied for a visiting professor position in 2004, since the post is part-time. In 2008, when Fu applied to be a full-time professor, the university again failed to check her diploma because she had been teaching at the university for four years.
Che Weimin, director of the Division of International Cooperation and Exchange at the Chinese Service Center for Scholarly Exchange, said that many students are pursuing higher education outside their native countries, so it's important to establish a reliable qualification recognition system.
Currently, overseas degrees must be verified by the Ministry of Education, he said.
"Nearly 340,000 Chinese students went abroad to study in 2011, and about 190,000 came back to China in the same year," said Che, adding the center also runs a website to monitor overseas education information to avoid scandals.
Yong Xin, a Chinese researcher who holds a post-doctoral position at the University of Pittsburgh, said the first thing he will do is make an online appointment at the Chinese Service Center for Scholarly Exchange.
"I have to make sure that they recognize my degree," said Yong, who has a doctoral degree from the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in New York State.
Xiong Bingqi, deputy director of the 21st Century Education Research Institute, a private nonprofit policy-research body, said China should create a mechanism for evaluating the quality of international education programs to provide reliable guidance for domestic employers.
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Sun Li and Zheng Yanyan in Fuzhou contributed to this story.
(China Daily 07/27/2012 page4)