US varsity fraud: students took the risk

Indian students were well aware of the risk they were taking when they took admissions into the Herguan University charged with visa fraud by the US officials, if a U.S. based newspaper reports are to go by.


The Chronicle of Higher Education, a US based newspaper wrote extensively about the Herguan University in its March 20, 2011 edition when the Tri-Valley University fiasco had come to light.

“The college (Herguan) is eerily unoccupied and all it had was unused classrooms, very little furniture, and a library with mostly empty shelves,” it wrote and it also found that only a single class was being held on a weekend though 450 students were enrolled.

The report says Herguan adopted the same formula that made Tri-Valley profitable. “In 2008 the college was granted federal approval to accept foreign students. Like Tri-Valley, Herguan submitted to immigration authorities letters from three accredited colleges promising to accept its course credits.” They all turned out to be untrue.

Most Herguan students worked full-time jobs outside California while enrolled in online classes. Jery Wang, Herguan's chief executive, in fact, agreed and defended the same stating that he considered students as temporary Herguan faculty members. “When students work in New York, Virginia, and other States, they earn academic credit for what are technically considered on-campus internship classes”, he explained.

The report says that failed students were routinely given pass grades in exchange for paying extra money. In one case Mr. Wang allowed a student living in Chicago to earn three credits in return for paying US $225 and taking a single online test. Herguan's methods drew the attention of federal officials, who visited the campus in November 2011. Immediately, Mr. Wang e-mailed all students to move to California within a week and take in-person classes, or else the college would move to terminate their student visas. When questioned, he apologized and offered students $500 if they came back for just six days of class.

Such developments obviously cannot go unnoticed by the students, Government officials here say, putting the blame squarely on them for the latest fiasco.

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Printable version | Dec 8, 2021 4:41:17 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Hyderabad/us-varsity-fraud-students-took-the-risk/article3745522.ece

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