University of Hong Kong reports suspected admissions fraud

By Minh Nga   June 1, 2024 | 06:53 pm PT
University of Hong Kong reports suspected admissions fraud
The University of Hong Kong gate. Photo courtesy of the university
The University of Hong Kong (HKU) Business School has notified the police of suspected student admissions fraud after conducting its own investigation following previous claims that surfaced on social media.

The school announced on Friday that it has reported to the police suspicious cases involving the submission of fraudulent documents during admissions. The school said the report had followed internal investigations, without providing additional details.

The school also cautioned students against engaging in illegal activities such as creating, using, and possessing false documents to gain admission into prestigious academic institutions, emphasizing that such acts are considered "serious crimes," the South China Morning Post reported.

HKU previously launched a probe into alleged fake admissions documents after claims on social media that accused students of falsifying qualifications. The claims had been prompted by a widespread rumor on Xiaohongshu, which is widely considered the Chinese Instagram, claiming that several research students had tampered with their academic credentials and were seeking to resubmit them.

On May 21, HKU confirmed the rumors and revealed that it had previously identified a small number of students who submitted fake documents during their application process.

It stated that if adequate evidence of misconduct is to be found, it will respond by revoking admission qualifications and canceling student registrations. Additionally, it will collaborate with relevant law enforcement authorities to take action against the intermediaries involved, according to Hong Kong’s English newspaper The Standard.

The issue surfaced on May 21 when a screenshot from a Reddit-like forum, LIHKG, displayed a post by an individual claiming to be close to graduation. The post stated that the university had recently re-examined the qualifications the student submitted during the admission process.

The student alleged that an agency had secured a university admission offer for him by using fabricated academic transcripts. His post claimed that while the university previously accepted academic transcripts submitted by mail, it now requires them to be sent directly from other institutions.

Then two subsequent posts on Xiaohongshu said nearly 200 students had been "asked to quit" due to fabrication of academic qualifications.

It was later found all over on Xiaohongshu that numerous education consultancy accounts claimed they can guarantee enrollment into master’s programs at HKU and other universities both in Hong Kong and elsewhere.

According to the school’s website, tuition fees for a one-year master’s program cost about HK$360,000 to. HK$462,000 ((US$46,100 - 59,000).

go to top