Understanding China, One Blog at a Time

An American in China

Archive for August 14th, 2010

American University Closes Chinese Campuses Due to Cheating All 400 Chinese Speaking Masters Students Involved

Posted by w_thames_the_d on August 14, 2010

This is a sad but telling story of education in China. When I came here, I too taught at a university where cheating was so rampant that I like many I knew gave up on education in China, they do not have the same values and beliefs and cheating is so rampant that it makes academia a farce. As I have stated, I have been told to change grades and when I did not do so, they were changed anyway. To me the idea of advanced learning in China is not a farce, but not too far from it. The credibility of htis place is horrible.
The story below talks about a US university who has learned this the hard way. Due to rampant cheating they are forcing students to take a comprehensive exam or get a tuition refund instead of their diplomas. The cheating Chinese are opting for the latter. How unfortunate that you cannot come to China and do business like you can in the rest of the world….


HACKETTSTOWN — Centenary College is closing its satellite business schools in China and Taiwan after discovering rampant cheating among local students, campus officials said.

The cheating was so extensive that the Hackettstown college is withholding degrees from all 400 Chinese-speaking students in its master’s of business administration programs in Beijing, Shanghai and Taiwan, said Debra Albanese, Centenary’s vice president for strategic advancement.

The students were told they have until the end of the month to decide whether to take a comprehensive exam to earn their degree or accept a full tuition refund So far, school officials said, most students have opted for the refund of their $1,200-to-$1,400 tuition.

“The college is extremely concerned with the welfare of the Chinese students involved in the program but must note that its review revealed evidence of widespread plagiarism, among other issues, at a level that ordinarily would have resulted in students’ immediate dismissal from the college,” Albanese said in a statement.

Centenary, a 3,000-student private college in Warren County, has offered its executive MBA degree in China since 2004. The college was among dozens of U.S. schools that flocked to the region after the Communist government began welcoming Western universities.

Centenary officials in New Jersey began investigating the school’s China and Taiwan programs in January 2009 at the request of Barbara-Jayne Lewthwaite shortly after she took over as president. After it discovered cheating problems, the college hired an international law firm and consulted with the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, its accrediting agency.

School officials said Joseph Linskey, who was appointed last year to a new position of Dean of International Programs, is coordinating Centenary’s withdrawal from China.

Before they can receive a tuition refund, students are required to sign a waiver in English and Chinese saying they will not sue the school or say anything to “harm the reputation of Centenary College,” according to a copy of the documents obtained by The Star-Ledger.

Centenary officials declined to discuss whether any college employees were fired because of the cheating.

Centenary isn’t the first college to run into problems regarding academic integrity in China, which has a long history of student-cheating scandals. Earlier this month, Beijing education officials launched an investigation into reports that hundreds of students at Beijing Open University had cheated on their final exams while teachers turned a blind eye, according to local news accounts.

Dozens of people have been arrested over the last few years for allegedly selling high-tech cheating devices, including wireless ear pieces and wristwatch-like receivers, to help students share answers on China’s high-stakes national college entrance exam.

U.S. test makers also have been cracking down on Chinese students cheating on the Graduate Management Admission Test, or GMAT, required for admission to business school. The Graduate Management Admission Council, which oversees the test, successfully sued several websites that Chinese students had used to swap the exam’s questions and answers.

“That was one example of the diligence we really pay to test security,” said Sam Silverstein, a Graduate Management Admission Council spokesman.

In the last five years, the number of Chinese students taking the business school admissions test has more than quadrupled to 16,500, Silverstein said. The country is now third in the world in the number of students taking the GMAT, behind only the United States and India.

“China is a very hot market for business schools,” Silverstein said.

While ending their China and Taiwan MBA programs, Centenary officials said they have no plans to stop expanding the college’s international reach. The college will continue to offer study abroad and exchange programs with schools around the world.

“Centenary College has had many long-standing successful relationships with international institutions in Asia, Europe and Canada that date back to the mid-1980s,” Albanese said. “We still continue to foster those relationships.”

Posted in China Fact, Cultural oddities, Let me educate you... | 3 Comments »

Road Warrior Invades China- Chinese Fashion

Posted by w_thames_the_d on August 14, 2010

Who says that Chinese are not creative? Here is how they dress to avoid the sun.The hideous mask which looks like something a welder would wear, is used to protect the face and then they cover their arms like a beekeeper…
Maybe they are the smart ones, but I just use sun block….
ps. this is actually a woman…

Posted in Cultural oddities, People, Photos | Leave a Comment »

My Likes in China, hmmm- China Photo

Posted by w_thames_the_d on August 14, 2010

Interesting Chinese brand, and at least we know its not a pirated version of an American brand…

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Chinese Gift Turns Baby Blue- Thanks for the Great Product Quality China

Posted by w_thames_the_d on August 14, 2010

Living in China brings me the opportunity to buy things here. I guess it is like perennially being in a Wal-Mart…
But anyway, I was making a purchase for my baby nephew and decided on a little blue Chinaman outfit, it was like those worn by the people of the Qin dynasty. The thing was cool, had a furry color and was a vibrant blue color. I shipped it off and was told that the boy loved it and would not take it off. The funny thing was that he slept in it as he was so enamored with the outfit.
Then when my sister went to take it off, she noticed that the poor kid’s skin had turned blue, as if the ink from the outfit was actually merely permanent marker or something. So she went to the bathroom and tried to scrub it off, but to no avail. So, sadly, the kid walked around with blue skin for 4 or 5 days, until his body naturally got rid of skin layers and he turned back to his beautiful baby hue…
Thanks for a memorable present China…

Posted in China Fact, Counterfeits and such, Let me educate you..., Product Quality | 1 Comment »

Chinese Youth Shitting on The Floor Inside the Subway in Shanghai- The China effect

Posted by w_thames_the_d on August 14, 2010

Hooterville China, these guys are incredible


Posted in Cultural oddities, Let me educate you..., People, Photos | 3 Comments »

China Roles out the Red Carpet For Mexican Officials at Local Hotel- Pears For All!

Posted by w_thames_the_d on August 14, 2010

My friend from Mexico was visiting a while back, and when he came we visited a place called Tai Yuan. The place has great historical significance in China as it is over 2000 years old, and was also the place where they slaughtered Catholics over 400 years ago. The place was ok, but had that conservative ‘Pittsburgh steel city’ feel, like a rough and tumble place, not that open to foreigners, but I will blog that later.
The point of this post is that while visiting, it was incumbent upon me to score us lodging for the night. I approached a hotel quite near the train station and began to negotiate. I informed my potential hosts that I was accompanied by a man of great distinction and honor. I told them that I was with a great man from Mexico, who happened to work with the government and should be treated with honor and respect. My true intentions were nothing more to score a room upgrade or some ttchokie, and although my Mexican mate looked like a Taliban (they didn’t see him, he waited outside. It was quite funny to see us together, me bone white, and this man whom they thought to be an Iraqi, with our Chinese friend), they assured me that they were equipped to entertain such men of honor and distinction.   I asked what amenities that they may provide for such a great person and they assured me that they had some local delicacies they could provide to us, and the man would be thrilled, and that a gift would be provided for us in our respective rooms….. So we rushed to our rooms filled with curiosity and almost missed this great gift that they’d provided for this Mexican man of honor, the freaking gift was so crappy , we’d almost missed it, this was it.

This is what they prepared for us…no shit! After convincing them that the man was practically Mexican royalty, this is how they treated him, with a freaking bowl with only 3 peaches. What a sight, the bowl was not even filled with fruit, no grapes, no apples, but three measly moldy peaches is all that such a fine Mexican authority deserved…

(ok, maybe they decided all of this after we checked in, and in their estimation this Che Guevara look alike was potentially not an important man from the Mexican government, but come on, 3 peaches, even if he wasnt, doesnt any visitor merit more than this? BTW he was no government official, so in the end, their egregious behavior was justified. )

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Shanghai Has Piss Infested Swiming Pools, Come One Come All- Shanghai has Excess Levels of Urea in Pools

Posted by w_thames_the_d on August 14, 2010

This is probably not newsworthy for those of us who live here. While on vacation the other day, I saw a guy in his 30’s leave his hotel room with his little boy (one child soon to be annoyance, as some like to call them) , and then proceed directly to the baby pool, where the boy pulled down his pants and urinated. This was not done ten meters from his hotel room where, presumably, they had a toilet as the rest of us did. I was almost floored, but have live here for a while, so just figured, this is China. Anyway, the excerpt below is from the Shanghaiist and talks about excess levels of urea are in pools in Shanghai. Either they are pissing too much or the dirty owners never clean their pools, its probably both.

“MORE than 16 percent of public swimming pools in the city have excess levels of urea, which is excreted in urine and sweat, officials from the Shanghai Health Supervision Agency said yesterday. The officials added that the excess urea may be caused by overcrowding and long-term use of the water.

“According to current laws, there is no penalty for excessive urea in swimming pools,” said Zhong Yue, an official from the Huangpu District Health Supervision Agency. “The authorities usually give notice and suggest pool owners change the water more frequently.”

The city has 498 public pools, including those in hotels, schools and gyms. The checks were done last month. They found that only 344 pools met all requirements on hygiene, staff qualifications and facilities. More than 25 percent of pools failed checks on at least one item.”

Posted in China Fact, Cultural oddities | 1 Comment »

Political Correctness in China

Posted by w_thames_the_d on August 14, 2010

China is a pretty cool place all in all. I mean they have some issues, like the general lack of manners and hygiene and food that is not what it is supposed to be, and milk that give you breasts and the fact that you can go to jail for having a blog.. and… but I got a little off track.
My point when I started this post was to say that in general China is cool, actually it has some good points that we back home cannot enjoy. For instance, here you can comment about anything, ie. about white trash, blacks, hispanics, Chinese, and there are no laws nor liberals running around trying to call you a racist without even hearing you out. The Chinese, if nothing else, are at least tolerant in listening to why you may say what you wish to say (of course this does not include anything about Ti.bet, Tai.wan and maybe Xin.jiang), but other than that, if you know them, you can even talk about Mao. Compare this to the west where before you can even say that Bolivia or Brasil is a poor country, you must first invest three minutes explaining that you feel sorry for the poverty stricken and donate heavily to their causes.

So in China you can forgo all the bs and get right to your point, you can tell them how you feel and cut to the chase without the three minute compulsory politically correct crap. Compare that to the US where if you say you dont like Obama, the default is that you are a biggot, it has nothing to do with his politics. Here if you say you dont like him, they will probably accept it, they may ask why, ask if it is a racial thing, then they will listen.
This feeling of being able to express ones self is lacking in the west. If you say you like Palestinians, you are an anti Semite, if you do not hate Germany, then you are an Aryan, and a whole host of other idiotic things. I feel a general sense of ease being able to express myself freely in public and wish others could do so as well. Thus, if you come visit China, please feel free to share with the locals, your outlook on life. The truth will set us all free, or at least some good strong opinions will do so. Remember its like that great song by that one alleged pervert who allegedly was a pedophile and liked to touch little boys (MJ) said in one of his songs ” There’s good and bad in everyone…”
Tolerance means tolerance to what each and everyone has to say, no matter how shitty it may be.

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You Don’t Know Shit About Doing Business in China… But Then Again Neither Do I

Posted by w_thames_the_d on August 14, 2010

I hope you can feel me on this one, as it is written partly out of frustration and partly from despair. I have had many friends who wish to do business in China, and they ask me my opinion, which they summarily disregard, and pay the price. For instance, you can go on Alibaba or ecplaza.net and find companies who purport to sell anything imaginable, from methamphetamine to motorcycles. The companies must be legit right, I mean they are on such well managed sites?
The truth is that in China these businesses and these websites are not regulated, and thus are frequently scams. They will either take your cash and give you nothing or take your cash and send you sub-standard goods. It all seems so easy from your cozy seat in the USA, but have you heard that all that glitters is not gold? Well that is so true here in China. See, I have been here for a bit and done business the whole time while living here, and in addition, I am actually studying law here. And the one irrefutable fact that I have found after almost three years in China, is that I don’t know shit about business here, and you dont know shit about business here, and most Chinese are merely whistling dixie and know just a hair more.
The problem is that this place is tribal. What this means is that each area is different from the rest, so, if you really want to do business, you have to go to the region that makes the goods, get contacts and then minimize your risk. for instance, I have decent contacts, but they are all in Beijing and close to Guangzhou, I can minimize my risk by utilizing them, but never eliminate that risk. In addition, I am constantly asking the locals and foreigners about their regions, just to get a feel for them when I need to do business there, and it is a patchwork quilt of oddities and nuance, and this is from a man who lives here, imagine your dilemma in obtaining the same information.
So, if you want to have success in China, spend a year here, meet people, lay your groundwork, and then partner with a local who you have befriended after a few years (I have done this too). Do not merely search the net or get an export house from Shanghai to help you, you have to understand that the Chinese are tribal and help one another. That export house is more interested in a continuing relationship with local Chinese than with you, and will ensure they are happy, often to the hindrance of offering you the best in quality.
Remember, the Chinese are different than we are. Morally, in terms of laws and ethics, everything you know and think you know does not apply here so plan accordingly.
also read the book, Poorly Made in China It is spot on…

Posted in Let me educate you..., Ranting in general | 1 Comment »