Don’t Get Ever Expelled from School!

If you pay attention to the Chinese or British media, then you’ve definitely caught this ominous headline in the past week:

50 Chinese students expelled from Newcastle University

Scary, isn’t it? What kind of travesty took place that allowed nearly 50 students to get kicked out of school? Was it some kind of conspiracy? Some gang of cheaters?

No. Actually it was just the compounded effects of vastly different cultural understandings and some really unscrupulous business practices at work. In my opinion, those 50 students who “cheated” to get accepted to Newcastle were, in some part, the victims.

Let me explain. Everyone knows that all Chinese students who study abroad write their own recommendation letters. Chinese teachers rarely have any clue what such a letter is, or how to write them, so this is expected. It’s a Western concept and it doesn’t make any sense to ask students from around the world to comply. So when Chinese students write their own letters and ask their teachers to sign them, I don’t necessarily consider that cheating. Nor do American universities – every top school in the U.S. is aware of this practice.

What those universities usually do not know is that very, very often, students are working with a bogus education agency who has no qualms about fabricating transcripts or standardized test scores (TOEFL, SAT or GMAT) for their students. They give them higher grades in order for them to gain admission to a more elite international university. This, in turn, makes the agency look more impressive. When you ask a student how they can do this, knowing full well that it’s slimy cheating, they simply say: “everyone does it…I’d be at a disadvantage if I didn’t.”

And that’s exactly right. They would be at a disadvantage.

However, these education agencies never have the best interests of their students in mind. How do I know? Because they’re risking their students’ futures, that’s how. They fabricate letters, write students’ essays for them, help fabricate transcripts, and generally cheat their little shoes off to get students admitted into top schools.

That’s not helping a student. That’s putting a student at risk of expulsion, losing any chance for further education overseas, and potentially ruining their future. That’s just dirty, slimy business.

So if you or someone you know is looking to hire an outside consultant to help them navigate the application process, make sure you’re working with a company who has your best interests in mind. Cheating is never the best option. You might get away with it, but if you don’t, the stakes are just too high.

Also, if you plan on fabricating your own transcripts, don’t bother applying to Newcastle University. They’re on to you.

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