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Diploma Mills Infest Beijing


Economic Observer Online

June 26, 2013
By Shen Nianzu (
Translated by Dou Yiping
Original article:

If you see a school like Capital University of Finance and Economics, Beijing Economic and Trade Institute, or Beijing Foreign Trade Institute while brushing over a job applicant’s resume, you might be forgiven for thinking it’s a legitimate institution.

In China, these kinds of schools are called “Universities of Wild Chickens” (野鸡大学), referring to private schools with deceptively similar names to well-known universities that aren’t even licensed to accept students. Those who didn’t get a good score on the college entrance exam (or never even took it) can pay comparatively high tuition to these fly-by-night schools and get a “diploma.” 

Recently, a list of 100 diploma mills was posted by Shangdaxue (上大学网). None of the listed schools have undergone the required annual school inspection and their permit numbers aren’t on The Private College Students Information Public Platform (全国民办高校学生信息公共查询平台).

Among the 100 schools, over 70 are located in Beijing. Currently, 43 full-time private higher education institutions and 24 part-time institutes are legally registered in Beijing. None of these 70 schools are among them.

Investigation showed that over 90 percent of the schools have websites claiming to be  “the only official website,” but were in fact running multiple websites with different domain names simultaneously – most of which were essentially the same. Over 20 schools copied and pasted portions or all of their introductions from the websites of accredited schools. And a picture of Guangdong University of Foreign Studies’ gate was reused by three fake universities. Some of the schools have even stopped operation, yet their websites are still calling for enrollment. 

Links & Sources:
The Economic Observer - 国内百所野鸡大学出炉 70余所在京
Shangdaxue - 百所中国虚假大学警示榜



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