Alternative Chinese-style study abroad: a "perfect" person set up a packaging line

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Titanium media note: this article comes from interface news, author: Dai Mengxin, editor: Li Yipeng, titanium media authorized release.

Opening the dark red book, Li Xiao (pseudonym) saw her photo, name and the seal of the Provincial Wushu Association. She satisfactorily put this "martial arts athlete" certificate together with the application materials - get the American University Offer The possibility is a bit higher. Three months later, Li Xiao wished to get an acceptance letter and began planning a trip before leaving school.

In fact, Li Xiao has not participated in martial arts associations, she has not even studied martial arts for a day.

Telling stories becomes a necessary soft powe

According to the latest data released by the Ministry of Education, in 2018, the number of Chinese students studying abroad has exceeded 660,000. Going abroad to study undergraduate is still the most popular choice. The 2018 Open Door Report published by the American International Education Association (IIE) shows that among Chinese students studying in the United States, the proportion of undergraduate degrees is 40.9%, which is more than 36% of graduate students.

How to show yourself and become a compulsory course for entering a famous foreign university.

Unlike graduate student applications that compete for GRE scores and university grade points, Chinese high school students who are determined to go abroad to study undergraduate courses need to face the enrollment rules in addition to the scores.

In addition to TOEFL, IELTS, SAT and other standardized test scores, the display of their own experience of all kinds of application materials are very important in undergraduate applications. In the United States, for example, colleges and universities generally require the submission of high school transcripts, letters of recommendation, resumes, personal statements and propositional essays. Students must fully display themselves in subjective questions such as personal statements, propositional essays and so on.

For high school students who can hardly have scientific research results, sports expertise, competition experience, artistic activities, volunteer activities and other "soft power" have become indispensable points.

“Having sports specialties is very helpful for applying to universities in the United States and the United Kingdom, and students who like sports specialties are very popular.” Xu Wei, the founder of the study abroad institution, told the interface education that equestrian, fencing and other niche sports have become popular among some Chinese students. Going abroad to participate in the Summer School has also become the most popular holiday activity for Chinese students.

A simple list is not enough to impress the admissions officers of famous schools, and it is more attractive to tell them as stories.

"This application is not particularly bad, but it is not enough to apply for Stanford University." Xu Wei coached the student to rewrite the application materials, focusing on another experience: the student interviewed a US military pilot in Chongqing Descendants use the oral history to record the story of the US military's support for China's anti-Japanese war during World War II.

"this is the American version of Wolf Warriors." Xu Yi explained that this version of the application material not only reflects the love of students for their hometown and history, but also shows a worldwide vision, which is in line with the taste of Stanford enrollment.

For prospective international students who have grown up in China, it is obviously not easy to master this unfamiliar evaluation system. For a long time, the study agents and consulting agencies have made a positive contribution to the student's application strategy.

From writing a document to buying a specialty

Organizations familiar with foreign school applications know how to package students according to the preferences of prestigious schools. However, when the “filter” of the packaging is getting heavier or even completely distorted, some institutions in the study abroad industry have gradually formed an industrial chain that forges the superior students.

The oldest is cheating. "China Newsweek" and other media have reported that some institutions abroad said that "TOEFL guarantees", using micro-headphones, mobile phones to send answers, or directly looking for someone to take the test. In 2008, 50 Chinese students were expelled from Newcastle University in the UK for allegedly falsifying English grade certificates. The school suspected that the study agent had forged and submitted the application materials for them.

Zhao Jian, founder of Qingliu Education, told Interface Education that domestic study abroad institutions tend to induce students, parents buy high-priced "all-package" services, and study abroad agencies operate the application for study abroad in an all-round way. After signing up to pay the fee, the organization will complete the production and submit the application materials for the students.

This application does not even require the student to participate in the writing, nor does it “customize” to show the student's own views and opinions. Zhao Jian told the interface education that the documents produced by the intermediary are mostly applied to the fixed template: "For example, if you tell the intermediary to apply for a business in a university in the UK, the first paragraph of the documents received is almost always 'London is a city with a long history' ""

Fixed template documents are likely to be completely inconsistent with the real situation of students, but driven by performance, a large number of institutions studying abroad have this phenomenon.

One student, who asked not to be named, told Interface Education that a study agent would be responsible for about 60, 100 students a year, with a commission of about 50, 000 yuan for the "American study abroad full package Service", which is usually 3000 yuan. In the face of huge workload and low commission, studying abroad agents are almost impossible, and do not want to spend time tutoring students to write their own application documents, relying on templates to quickly write the most efficient choice.

If parents want the assembly line to look better, some overseas students will also offer a special service: buy specialties.

Zhao Jian told the interface education that the purchasing specialty is called “there is resources” in the institutions of study abroad. The agent studying abroad suggests to the students and parents that they “know people” and can forge all kinds of special certificates and certificates. In addition to providing proof, the intermediary will also “add in” the textual descriptions such as personal statements, so that students can learn the experience and experience of the specialties, and make these forged features look more realistic.

"A lot of agents do this kind of fraud because the cost of fraud is too low." Zhao Jian explained to Interface Education that admissions officers at overseas universities face thousands of applications a year at a high cost and rarely conduct telephone surveys and interviews. Because of this, many domestic study agents desperate, assembly line has produced a batch of martial arts, swimming and other specialty students.

Overseas colleges and universities

More and more common application materials falsified, causing the alarm of overseas colleges and universities.

In 2011, the New York Times reported in a report called The China Conundrum that American universities with tight budgets welcomed Chinese students who were willing to pay tuition in full, and found that Chinese students were heavily fabricated. Case of admission application. The head of the admissions department at Kansas State University found that many Chinese students pay for the application materials through the same bank account, which is obviously applied by the institution of study abroad. Of the five application materials received, the three materials performed exactly the same.

In 2016, Reuters reported that Chinese study abroad institutions, including New Oriental (NYSE:EDU), wrote documents and letters of recommendation for students on behalf of students, suspected of fraudulent applications for studying abroad. A former employee of a Chinese study abroad agency admitted in the report that he had written on behalf of his students: "I know there are moral problems, but this is the business."

The "biggest admissions fraud case in American history" that broke out in March this year became the most famous example. According to foreign media reports, Zhao Tao, chairman of China's step-by-step pharmaceuticals, provided $6.5 million to the illegal study agent William Singh. His daughter, Zhao Yusi, became a "American college entrance examination champion" with sailing expertise and successfully entered Stanford University. After the falsification of the resume, Stanford University immediately expelled Zhao Yusi.

Many reports of such incidents in the foreign media have exposed the cognitive differences between overseas universities and the Chinese study abroad market for many years. Most overseas universities require students to prepare, write, fabricate or set templates for applications, including resumes, personal statements, propositions, etc., are considered serious cheating. But for Chinese students who have no overseas life experience and are better at standardized examinations, document writing is the weakest link.

Overseas colleges and universities no longer easily believe in excellent resumes from Chinese students, and counter-measures for packaging, cheating and fraud have been introduced.

Hong Kong, South Korea and other test sites canceled many exams due to possible cheating. The SAT and the TOEFL test have joined the sound test in recent years, and the consistency check of the sounds of several exams of the same name is carried out to prevent the test, and the same voice will be detected in the spoken test of different names.

The admissions department of foreign universities has also added audit levels. In addition to hiring third-party audit materials, many famous schools have started interviews in China in recent years.

Xu Wei told the interface education that in addition to Stanford University, Yale University, Harvard University and other top US universities are interviewed in China. Take Harvard University as an example. The interview usually lasts for 1.5 hours. The interviewer will not only check the student's own materials, but also ask specific details during the interview, leaving little room for fraud.

"the interviewer asks questions that can't be prepared at all." Xu Yi gave an example of interface education. In the application material, a student said he loved classical music, and the interviewer may have played a Chopin serenade on the spot, asking the student to identify which section of the composition. Some students mentioned St. Peter's Cathedral in their applications, and the interviewer asked questions in detail about architectural style, history, and so on.

Once found to be fake, Chinese students are punished more than just a letter of refusal. Zhao Jian said many foreign schools are beginning to exchange information, and if a university finds a student applying for false materials, other schools will also receive news that the student will be blocked in the application system.

"perfect" setting is not the optimal solution

Chinese students who have entered foreign universities under the exaggerated packaging of institutions are facing the price of being “perfect”.

Li Chun, the founder of the coconut classmate who is engaged in overseas study training, found that many Chinese students who scored high marks in TOEFL, IELTS and SAT attended the foreign universities. It was very difficult to complete classes and exams, and even could not complete daily work.

Li Chun told the interface education that many Chinese students accepted the “full service” promoted by the institutions of study abroad when they prepared the language examinations in China: “The organization will arrange supervision and teaching assistants, formulate learning plans for children, supervise children to do problems, and even arrange special personnel to accompany them. Students recite words."

Li Chun believes that these students who have been arranged by the institutions of study abroad have scored high marks, but in fact they lack the ability to read and write. They are difficult to cope with in English discussions, speeches, essay writing and other issues in overseas study.

Even if they enter the right school, these substandard Chinese students are likely to be discouraged by demanding overseas colleges and universities.

The Houren Education Group has released a report saying that in 2013, 8,000 Chinese students studying in the United States were expelled from American universities, accounting for 3.5% of the total number of Chinese students in the United States. The China Study Abroad Development Report (2017) published by the Global Think Tank (CCG) shows that the main reason for the dismissal of Chinese students is academic performance and academic dishonesty.

For these Chinese students who have been sent to foreign universities but are facing the danger of persuasion, overseas counseling has been launched overseas.

Domestic study institutions have begun to set up branches in the United States, Canada, Australia and other places, and overseas education companies also provide services to Chinese students who have already left the country. In addition to English and professional training, these companies also provide cultural adaptation and psychological counseling. This kind of “post-study service” has become a new investment enthusiasm. According to the report released by the Prospective Industry Research Institute, the scale of this new market segment may reach 100 billion.

Saving Chinese students on the verge of dismissal has become another business opportunity for studying abroad, but the process of studying abroad has become the whole process of "arranged". According to the survey conducted by New Oriental 2019 White Paper on studying abroad in China, the ability to solve problems independently is the most important quality for foreign students. Before going abroad, the "Chinese style of studying abroad", which also relies on the help of others after going abroad, may greatly discount the promotion brought about by studying abroad.

"this may be a point in time for reflection on what it is about to get a child to receive an international education." "We should provide real education, not help with all the outsourcing services," Li said.

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