Students fake foreign status to enter China universities

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Students born, raised and educated in China are using fake foreign passports to get into top universities, which have higher entrance standards for domestic candidates, state media said Wednesday.

Fake foreign passports can be bought in eastern China for around 200,000 yuan (29,300 dollars), the Global Times said of the bogus enrolment scam.

Admission requirements for domestic students at China's top universities are extremely high, with only the top scorers on annual nationwide entrance exams offered places.

But for foreign students, enrolment requirements are much lower as many universities want more foreigners to foster an international environment on campuses, the report said.

"A typical student imposter cannot speak the native language of his purported motherland and can't tell you the name of the nation's capital. His family is Chinese," it said.

Most of the bogus students carry fake passports from African, South American or Southeast Asian nations, it said, adding that many of the documents are issued only months before the youth sends in a university application.

The scam has prompted a crackdown by the education ministry, which is now demanding proof from foreign students that they have lived in their purported countries of origin for at least four years, it said.

The paper did not say how many fake foreign students enter China's universities every year.