Chinese students cheated over college fees

Several Chinese students have paid the equivalent of 20,000 to 30,000 kronor ($3,300 to $5,000) to agencies in China to attend the University of Gävle, despite the fact that the education is free of charge.

According to the Arbertarbladet newspaper, last winter a Chinese woman learned she would be admitted to a master’s program at the university, irrespective of entrance requirements, if she paid 33,000 yuan (currently equivalent to 28,600 kronor) to a Beijing-based agency.

The university had earlier referred to the agency on its website, but the link is no longer there.

The newspaper claims that Chinese students rarely receive any information about the money they pay goes and almost never receive a receipt.

When the paper on Monday checked with two agencies in China mentioned on the university’s website, it was told that the agencies’ services would cost about 35,000 yuan (about 30,000 kronor).

The agency explained that the money is used to cover costs associated with acquiring a visa, arranging housing in Gävle, transportation from Arlanda to Gävle and other items which the University of Gävle offers free of charge.

One of the agencies contacted by Arbetarbladet told the paper that the Swedish university received a portion of the income, something the school’s leadership denies.

University of Gävle head Leif Svensson told the paper that the school plans to look into the matter and carry out its own investigation.

“If this is true then we’ve been deceived and kept in the dark,” he said to Arbetarbladet.