Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

WEB NEWS

Online movement demands peace in Gaza

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

Apple aims to satisfy China's hunger for smartphones

Read more

DEBATE

MH17: Punishing Putin? (part two)

Read more

DEBATE

MH17: Punishing Putin?

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Competing narratives in Malaysia Airlines disaster coverage

Read more

AFRICA NEWS

Kenya : Police arrest 8 over Mombasa rampage

Read more

FOCUS

Overfishing and the global appetite for bluefin tuna: can Tokyo turn the tide?

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Too many graphic images from Gaza ?

Read more

FASHION

Who's next in Paris, an event with international ready-to-wear and fashion accessories collections

Read more

  • Netherlands to honour MH17 victims in national day of mourning

    Read more

  • Defying UK, France to proceed with warships sale to Russia

    Read more

  • Israel hits Gaza targets despite diplomatic push for ceasefire

    Read more

  • US courts issue conflicting reports on Obamacare

    Read more

  • Video: Lebanon fears fallout from regional turmoil

    Read more

  • Widodo wins Indonesian presidential election

    Read more

  • Flight MH17 shot down ‘by mistake', US intelligence indicates

    Read more

  • US, European airlines suspend flights to Tel Aviv

    Read more

  • Australian veteran Rogers claims 16th stage of Tour de France

    Read more

  • France gives go-ahead to pro-Palestinian Paris rally

    Read more

  • French Jews mourn French-Israeli soldier killed in Gaza

    Read more

  • PSG punished by UEFA for abuse of disabled Chelsea fans

    Read more

  • Colombia's Rodriguez signs '€80m' contract with Real Madrid

    Read more

  • Children killed in minibus crash in eastern France

    Read more

  • A call for harmony in riot-hit ‘Little Jerusalem’ Paris suburb

    Read more

France

Suspicions of mass fraud rock French universities

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2009-04-16

Prosecutors in Marseilles have launched an investigation into claims that hundreds of Chinese students bribed officials at a university in Toulon to obtain fake diplomas. Other French universities could be involved in the fraud.

French police are looking into an alleged trafficking scheme in which hundreds of Chinese students were fraudulently given French university diplomas. Police were apparently tipped off while investigating an assault on a Chinese student on the campus of the Institute of Business Administation (IAE), a part of the University of Toulon, in southeastern France.

 

The student was reportedly attacked after failing to pay her debts with an intermediary. A few weeks earlier, two Chinese students had filed a complaint at the local police station after discovering that some diplomas had been delivered fraudulently.

 

A diploma worth 2,700 euros

 

According to French daily Le Monde, the fraud began in the 2004-2005 academic year when a Chinese student, who was struggling to get his diploma, began offering bribes to one of the institute’s employees. The student was subsequently awarded his diploma.

 

The scheme was then extended to the student's friends. According to a source quoted by Le Monde, the fake diplomas cost around €2,700. Last year, one student alone sold close to 300 diplomas.

 

On April 9, the police searched the institute’s premises and seized exam papers written by Chinese students over the last four years.

 

The head of the institute reportedly told Le Monde that he had been approached by a Chinese student who offered him a €100,000 bribe in exchange for diplomas for about 60 of his fellow students.

 

Other universities involved

 

When informed of the police's suspicions last October, the Toulon university administration carried its own internal investigation. “We found some troubling details,” Pierre sanz de Alba, the university’s vice-president, told Le Monde. In the two-year entrepreneurship programme, 100% of the Chinese nationals graduated successfully, as opposed to 60 to 70 percent of the other students, including French ones.

 

According to the Marseilles prosecutor interviewed by AFP, the scheme may have existed in other French universities as well. Pau, La Rochelle, Poitiers and an establishment in the Paris region could be involved, says Le Monde.

 

Date created : 2009-04-16

COMMENT(S)