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College admission scandal revealed
By Di Fang (China Daily)
Updated: 2004-08-16 06:42

A faculty member from the Beijing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics remained in police custody Sunday after being charged with trying to extort 100,000 yuan (US$12,000) from the parent of a young woman who hopes to enter the institute.

China Central Television reported that the parent, Li, from Southwest China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, said three university faculty members had tried to obtain the massive sum from him, despite his daughter securing a high enough mark to enter the university.

Two university staff members involved, Pang Hongbing and Gao Feng, were summoned by local police on Wednesday to answer questions, in Nanning, the capital city of the autonomous region, but have since been released.

Nanning police were unavailable for comment Sunday.

Another person, Liu Fangping, remains in police custody in Nanning.

Li's daughter achieved a score of 750 in the national university entrance examination in June.

Sources with the Guangxi education examinations authority said the student ranked 40th among those applying for admission to the Beijing-based university. The university planned to admit 69 students from Guangxi.

"So I believed there would be no problem in getting my child enrolled at the university," Li said.

But Li was then approached by university staff members in July, who said that, unless he paid 100,000 yuan, his daughter would not be admitted.

After Li promised to pay the money, he was told his daughter had been enrolled by the university.

But when Li reported the case to police and refused to hand over the money, his daughter failed to receive the notice of her acceptance to the university.

University President Li Wei made a public apology over the weekend for the scandal, which "has done great harm to the reputation of the university and student admission."

"I hope the scandal in Guangxi is an isolated one in nationwide student admission," Li told Beijing News.

A joint investigation group was established by the university and relevant government departments to look into the issue.

The money that university staff extorted from students will be returned and those students rejected for not paying the money will be sent their admission notices, Li pledged.

The results of the investigation into the scandal are expected to be made public in the near future.

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