Chinese Cheating Ring: "An Industry Devoted to Helping International Students Scam Grades"
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College admissions cheating by American celebrities is more fun, but … From Los Angeles Magazine:

A Chinese Cheating Ring at UCLA Reveals an Industry Devoted to Helping International Students Scam Grades
Operation TOEFL Recall was overshadowed by Operation Varsity Blues, but it’s just as scandalous
By Christopher Beam -April 26, 2019

… According to prosecutors, Cai, along with four current and former UCLA students and another student at Cal State Fullerton, helped at least 40 Chinese nationals obtain student visas by fraudulently taking the TOEFL, an English proficiency exam, on their behalf. Cai’s ringers would show up to testing sites with fake Chinese passports bearing their own photos but with the names of the clients. Where Cai slipped—and where investigators caught up to him—was charging 39 test registration payments to his credit card.

Any other day the UCLA bust might have made national headlines, but the news got swamped by a bigger, sexier college cheating scandal: Operation Varsity Blues. (The UCLA investigation was dubbed “Operation TOEFL Recall.”) While the UCLA case is less shocking—bribes in thousands of dollars instead of millions; Chinese high schoolers instead of Full House cast members—it represents an equally notable underbelly of American college admissions. …

It’s hard to find data on cheating that is broken down by country of origin, but a survey of 14 public universities by The Wall Street Journal found that in the 2014-15 school year, those universities reported cheating among international students at a rate five times higher than among domestic students. In 2018 a professor at UC Santa Barbara told the Los Angeles Times that Chinese students comprise 6 percent of the student body but account for a third of plagiarism cases. A 2016 study conducted by United Kingdom newspaper The Times says that students from outside the European Union were four times more likely to cheat than U.K. and European Union students. …

But domestic students have access to these schemes, too. Why do international students exploit them more? Experts I spoke with cited family pressure, as many young Chinese students are only children and the first in their families to study abroad; opportunity, as cheating companies actively hawk their services in Mandarin to incoming students; and a general lack of preparedness for the rigors of an education in a non-native language. “The biggest factor is not their international status but going to school in a language that they’re not proficient in,” says David Rettinger, president of the International Center for Academic Integrity. …

Cheating can self-perpetuate if unchecked. Chen tells the story of a student who faked his TOEFL score to get into Purdue University. Once there, he paid someone to attend classes for him. His (employee’s) grades were good enough that he got into Columbia University for grad school, but then, struggling, he hired someone to take his classes there, too. Hoping to land a job at Goldman Sachs, he sought Chen’s help. “I think his English was at a high school level,” Chen says. All told, the beleaguered Chinese student spent nearly $1.2 million on not going to school.

Have American academics ever researched the extent of Chinese cheating? Is anybody publicly shaming American colleges and testing institutions that let it happen? Or are too many powerful institutions making money off replacing American students paying discounted tuition with cheating Chinese students paying list price?

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