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UK uni expels Chinese students over forged documents
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Fifty students from the Chinese mainland and Taiwan were thrown out of United Kingdom-based Newcastle University for using forged qualification documents, the BBC reported on Tuesday.

Most of the 49 Chinese students, along with one Taiwanese, had enrolled in business programs, which they started in September, the report said.

The university became suspicious after the students performed poorly in its English Language Assessment and launched an investigation.

It said most forged certificates were for English language qualifications or degrees awarded by other universities.

Newcastle University spokesman Mick Waricker told the BBC that the forged qualifications were of such high quality that they were not discovered by the usual checks carried out by admissions officers.

Many students were victims of bogus agents who helped them submit an application that included forged documents, Waricker added.

The university will publish a list of approved agents on its Website later and create stricter checks to verify the certificates of applicants, the spokesman said.

He also strongly advised other British universities to look very carefully at the systems they have in place to detect fraudulent applications.

The students were notified of the university's decision. They have the right to appeal. Thirty three students were enrolled in a master's program while the other 17 were in undergraduate courses.

However, their visas will be invalid after being expelled and most students will have to go back to China, Waricker was cited as saying.

The report said Newcastle University will lose about 500,000 pounds (US$747,800) due to the case.

China is the biggest overseas student market for British universities. It is estimated that nearly 100,000 Chinese students are studying in Britain, according to China New Service.

(Shanghai Daily November 13, 2008)

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