Chinese police have detained eight people for selling fake university enrolment certificates to around 1,000 students for a total cost of 10 million yuan (US$1.32 million), according to China News Service.
A gang of 11 traveled the country promising students in 17 provinces places at university, according to the public security bureau of Haikou, capital of China's southernmost island of Hainan. Three are still at large.
They forged stamps and matriculation certificates of many universities, hired hackers to falsify computer enrollment records and pretended to be recruitment staff.
A latest survey of 38,087 people by the National Educational Examination Authority (NEEA) of the Ministry of Education and the China Youth Daily found 77.4 percent were still in favor of the exam sat by millions of youngsters each year.
Since China resumed the exam in 1977 after a suspension during the 1966-1977 Cultural Revolution, 36 million people have attended university.
However, the exam has been branded "unscientific" as it relies solely on written testing with no evaluation of overall capability. Critics say it has led to China's test-oriented education system and should be abolished.
The exam is seen as a life-changing event because it is the only chance most high school students have to get access to higher education. This year, 10.1 million people competed for 5.67 million university places.
(Xinhua News Agency August 3, 2007)