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Unqualified teaching websites shut down
By Cui Ning (China Daily)
Updated: 2004-07-20 02:16

Ministries of education and public security shut down eight websites which allegedly offered unqualified higher education courses and fake academic degrees.

Zhjzw.nease.net -- whose name translates into China's certificate conferring website -- was shut down in June, the Ministry of Education announced during a press conference Monday.

The website, registered in Beijing and Tianjin municipalities two years ago, said it could distribute higher learning academic degrees. Students can enroll through the website, take higher education courses and obtain academic degrees. The website published its address of remittance and account number to lure students.

About 17 per cent of high school graduates attend colleges or universities in China. Those who do not meet the requirements often enroll in adult classes or Internet-based colleges.

Degrees are an important job-hunting tool. That's why unqualified online courses and fake certificates can be a big money-maker, said Lin Huiqing, director of the Department for Students' Affairs of the Ministry of Education.

Some people are even willing to buy fake degrees because they think they can be used to find jobs.

One person, Sima Junle, was arrested in connection to Zhjzw.nease.net, said Yang Jialin, an official with the Ministry of Public Security.

Sima used the alias of Zhang Jianjun to open accounts at the Bank of Agriculture, the Bank of Construction, the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, and China Merchants Bank in Tianjin.

He had received 70 applicants from Beijing, Tianjin and Shanghai municipalities and Heilongjiang Province over the past year, earning 50,000 yuan (US$6,000)

The other seven websites shut down by the ministry are: www.chinagdxl.com, www.chsi.net.cn, www.chiedu.com.

In Beijing, some 49 suspects, 1,674 faked seals and 1,940 copies of certificates were seized between August 20 and September 10 last year, said Yang.

This June, public security departments in Northwest China's Gansu Province arrested two suspects and seized 5,000 fake seals and 4,000 fake certificates of Peking and Tsinghua universities.

Yang said public security forces across the country will tighten efforts to crack down on providers of fake academic degrees as well as those who distribute pornographic material on websites.

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