# US College closes oversea MBA program due to rampant cheating

#### Andy Nguyen

Centenary College closes satellite schools in China, Taiwan after finding rampant cheating

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. The U.S. schools offer American-style MBA programs to Chinese-speaking or English-speaking students who are looking to work for Western corporations doing business in the Far East. The students pay tuition and receive U.S.-accredited MBA degrees in a year or two, dramatically improving their job prospects.

The programs can be lucrative for the American colleges, which often rent space in Chinese cities use a combination of campus professors and local adjuncts to teach classes.

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 declined to discuss the details of the cheating uncovered in the investigation or why they decided to withhold degrees to all 400 students in three locations.

"The college and its counsel have been working diligently to resolve this situation in a manner that is fair and in the best interests of both the program’s students and the college as a whole," Albanese said in a statement.

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.

Several New Jersey universities have ventured into China, with mixed results. Rutgers University currently runs one of the largest international MBA programs in Asia, with branches in Beijing and Shanghai as well as Singapore. Kean University planned to open China’s first full-scale American-style university in 2007, but the plans became caught up in red tape in the Beijing government.

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."

Centenary College closes satellite schools in China, Taiwan after finding rampant cheating | NJ.com

To those who've seen Chinese students at US universities, it's no eye-opener. Cheating and plagiarism are rampant among the Chinese -- and gutless American academics usually turn a blind eye towards it.

#### Andy Nguyen

Those who plan to open an oversea campus should do better job at understanding their prospective market. It's no surprise to me or anyone who grew up and went to any university back east.
It's a whole different attitude and cultural shock for people who come to study here. Cheating is inevitable when the stakes are high. You can't eliminate it but reduce it as best as you can.

#### helpteye

To those who've seen Chinese students at US universities, it's no eye-opener. Cheating and plagiarism are rampant among the Chinese -- and gutless American academics usually turn a blind eye towards it.

I see Indian students doing it too; they simply speak in their own languages even in my PhD classes; yet many students from these two countries get perfect GRE scores, despite their horrible English language spelling and grammar, go to MIT and Standford, and people simply say they are brilliant. I must mention though, that it is not all of them, but it is a sizeable majority. I see students getting A in advanced Math courses, and when we get together to work on group projects, I realize they are not half as good. But of course there are many who are diligent.

I see Indian students doing it too; they simply speak in their own languages even in my PhD classes ... I must mention though, that it is not all of them, but it is a sizeable majority. I see students getting A in advanced Math courses, and when we get together to work on group projects, I realize they are not half as good.

D'accord. The Indians as well as the Chinese.

#### quantie

This is so wrong

To those who've seen Chinese students at US universities, it's no eye-opener. Cheating and plagiarism are rampant among the Chinese -- and gutless American academics usually turn a blind eye towards it.

I haven't seen "rampant" cheating and plagiarism among Chinese students in the US any more than among those born in America.

How can you even say something like this? There are cheats everywhere. Don't stereotype all Chinese or Indians as another poster below did. There Chinese who cheat. Most don't. There are tenth generation Americans who cheat. Most don't.

It's a racist comment that I can't agree with.

If you see the data on Business Week, the percentage of ASIAN students in the following schools:

MIT: BBA - 56% Asian-American, MBA 48% Asian + Asian American
UC-Berkeley: BBA - 52% Asian-American, MBA 46% Asian + Asian American
U-Penn (Wharton): BBA - 60% Asian-American, MBA 49% Asian + Asian American

Similar data is there for all the top 25 universities.

So the Asian-American population which is 2% of US population is taking up more than 50% of the seats in the elite universities. It may have something to do with their work ethic and not with cheating.

I know that Finance PhD programs have got large numbers of students from China, France, India, and Eastern European countries. Probably more than 50% of the class. Are they all cheaters?

#### makaveli

It'd be interesting to see a break-down of the average FE student nationalities.

From what I've seen, the majority of applicants, students and forum users (here and at GD) seem to be asian or indian (US nationals or otherwise).

Is there some reason that white people seem to steer clear of FE-related programs? (This is coming from a white guy - I can count the number of white dudes in Cornell's FE program on one hand).

I don't know how it is for other programs but I was also admitted to MIT for their MFin and their admit list was also largely dominated by asian graduates.

I'm not complaining in any way - I've just found the underrepresentation interesting.

#### quantfinesse

Asian and Asian American students 'underrepresented' in US academic programs

From one who has been in the US PhD-granting university academia far too long to remember, and, at a university dominated primarily by descendants of privileged Caucasian Americans (who can afford well over six figure US dollar fees for an undergraduate degree without any need for any assistantship or merit-based scholarship) with a minor mix of both Chinese and Indian students (with many first generation immigrants on assistantships or merit-based scholarship), listed below is some hard empirical data based upon a recent sample of 1,500-2,000 primarily undergraduate, but also many graduate and post-graduate and PhD students.

Most of those who were caught in recent years based upon ‘hard' irrefutable evidence of cheating in terms of plagiarized works in computing, quantitative, mathematical, and analytic intensive subjects were not Indian or Chinese, but those coming from privileged American families. On the other hand, some of the most top-performing brilliant students were from Indian, Chinese, as well as [relatively fewer in terms of percentage of a given demographic] American as well as Hispanic among the very best of the best as examined based upon a battery of diverse assessments. This observation doesn't imply that _all_ Indian, Chinese, or any other members of any specific race were represented among the ‘cream of the crop'.

A review of the philosophy and history of mathematics and related numerate disciplines such as algebra and calculus can apparently provide some evidence about the cultural roots of such differences in aptitudes and interests. Many of the key foundations of arithmetic as we know today originated in India as any student of mathematics would know. Also, any student of economics would probably recognize that countries such as India are documented as having the world's largest scientific and technical manpower in recent decades even before their economic prowess was recognized. On a side note, it will be interesting to reconcile the current plight of the Greeks [among the PIIGS] given that most of the original mathematical discoveries originated in Greece. However, the Greeks seem to have detested real-world experiential learning in favor of more academic intellectual pursuits for example in contrast to the Romans.

A review of the GRE Quant [800/800] scores as reported by hundreds of candidates for potential MFEs and other programs as presented on this forum and other similar forums would seem to support the above observations about the numerate skills and aptitudes of diverse demographics and the relatively significantly higher representation of Asians and Asian Americans in those with perfect 100% GRE / GMAT Quant scores.

Also, consider the population size of different demographics in the statistical assertions in prior arguments in this discussion: Compared to Chinese (1.34 billion), Indian (1.14 billion), and other Asian American populations, Caucasian American populations (say around 248 of 308 million total US population and probably much lesser) represent a very small minority (1 or lesser Caucasian American for every 10 Asian and Asian-Americans). For every Caucasian American (say, 248 million), there are about ten times (x 10) Asian and Asian-Americans (more than 2.48 billion).

Assuming that many of the relevant aptitudes and skills are distributed homogeneously and assuming homogeneous demographics worldwide based upon other data about enrollment of American and European students in top Asian business schools presented in Business Week in last few days, one can theoretically expect to find 10 x times or more Asian and Asian-Americans in any given academic program in the world as compared to Caucasian Americans.

Hence, on a very simplistic basis, such as not considering other factors such as the age distributions of different demographics that should probably further bolster the evidence presented here, the statistics presented in earlier discussion from Business Week seem to suggest that Asian and Asian-American students are still underrepresented, and not overrepresented, in the specific US-based programs. A factual real world statistical check of enrollments in most elite numerate, analytical, and computational US programs would also probably show that majority of the Asian and Asian American students enrolled in such programs are first generation immigrants representing their respective countries rather than the “2% of US population”.

Hence, various statistical assertions that presented contradictory arguments in prior discussion need to be carefully reconsidered regarding their reliability and validity.

#### JDMe

D'accord. The Indians as well as the Chinese.

Blanket statements like these based on "experience" just shows immaturity in my opinion.

I come here to enrich myself from education and experience of people all over the world and this is what I get to read.

Should we allow these racist rants on an educational forum like this? How was this statement helpful to any of us here?

---------- Post added at 08:18 AM ---------- Previous post was at 08:13 AM ----------

I see Indian students doing it too; they simply speak in their own languages even in my PhD classes; yet many students from these two countries get perfect GRE scores, despite their horrible English language spelling and grammar, go to MIT and Standford, and people simply say they are brilliant. I must mention though, that it is not all of them, but it is a sizeable majority. I see students getting A in advanced Math courses, and when we get together to work on group projects, I realize they are not half as good. But of course there are many who are diligent.

I can't believe a guy doing his PhD would rather enrich our knowledge through posts like this. I would have loved to read something from your research work and publications.

Blanket statements like these based on "experience" just shows immaturity in my opinion.

I come here to enrich myself from education and experience of people all over the world and this is what I get to read.

Should we allow these racist rants on an educational forum like this? How was this statement helpful to any of us here?

---------- Post added at 08:18 AM ---------- Previous post was at 08:13 AM ----------

I can't believe a guy doing his PhD would rather enrich our knowledge through posts like this. I would have loved to read something from your research work and publications.

What exactly is your problem? First time, you tell me to go back to my Third-World country -- which piece of garbage gets promptly deleted by the moderator. Now you have the effrontery to accuse me of "racist rants." At least exhibit some consistency.

#### Andy Nguyen

Does anyone know of any other similar cheating scandals on this scale?
The students here got off way too easy. Get caught cheating and got away with full tuition refund? Specially the refund part. That's not going to fly here.

I also remember reading the MFE reviews on quantnet and several students mentioned about the rampant cheating in their program.

#### helpteye

I haven't seen "rampant" cheating and plagiarism among Chinese students in the US any more than among those born in America.

How can you even say something like this? There are cheats everywhere. Don't stereotype all Chinese or Indians as another poster below did. There Chinese who cheat. Most don't. There are tenth generation Americans who cheat. Most don't.

It's a racist comment that I can't agree with.

My friend: I do not think it is racist. There is an ongoing issue with GRE and GMAT in china specifically. One scenario is one guy writing the exam for another. I do not think anyone is suggesting all chinese or all indians cheat. That would be ridiculous. Read my post. I said many of them are diligent. However, when students begin talking another language among themselves during an exam, even you should be worried. NOT ALL CHEAT. People from all walks of life from all backgrounds cheat. However, I see them doing it more and obviously too. Furthermore, I do not mean chinese or Indian as a race, for I grew up in a country where half our populations is black and half is East Indian, but we all speak English. I am talking about an issue with Nationality and language.I am talking about students from China and India speaking their native languages in small groups during an exam. No one does anything about it. However, these are not all of them. There are those individuals who make the right efforts and do their work diligently. I think you are just being too passionate.

---------- Post added at 10:04 AM ---------- Previous post was at 09:57 AM ----------

If you see the data on Business Week, the percentage of ASIAN students in the following schools:

MIT: BBA - 56% Asian-American, MBA 48% Asian + Asian American
UC-Berkeley: BBA - 52% Asian-American, MBA 46% Asian + Asian American
U-Penn (Wharton): BBA - 60% Asian-American, MBA 49% Asian + Asian American

Similar data is there for all the top 25 universities.

So the Asian-American population which is 2% of US population is taking up more than 50% of the seats in the elite universities. It may have something to do with their work ethic and not with cheating.

I know that Finance PhD programs have got large numbers of students from China, France, India, and Eastern European countries. Probably more than 50% of the class. Are they all cheaters?

Of course they are not. That does not nullify the issue at hand. I also believe the article was about Chinese students from the motherland. They do not all cheat. However, with 10 million+ students competing for the same position there is bound to be some level of cheating. I also see it in some american students who plagiarize throughout high school and get straight A's.

---------- Post added at 10:10 AM ---------- Previous post was at 10:04 AM ----------

It'd be interesting to see a break-down of the average FE student nationalities.

From what I've seen, the majority of applicants, students and forum users (here and at GD) seem to be asian or indian (US nationals or otherwise).

Is there some reason that white people seem to steer clear of FE-related programs? (This is coming from a white guy - I can count the number of white dudes in Cornell's FE program on one hand).

I don't know how it is for other programs but I was also admitted to MIT for their MFin and their admit list was also largely dominated by asian graduates.

I'm not complaining in any way - I've just found the underrepresentation interesting.

I would think that it has to do with the fact that white americans generally speaking can get reasonably good jobs with a regular education, while us internationals (and I am a black African-born student who grew up in the caribbean) have no choice but to work extra hard. It does not mean that white/ or black americans(for that matter) are settling, but if I were american I probably would just do a regular Bsc and chill. Its logical to me. Asians and Africans come here and have no choice but to get MSc or PhD in order to be able to help their families. Thats all I think.

---------- Post added at 10:18 AM ---------- Previous post was at 10:10 AM ----------

Blanket statements like these based on "experience" just shows immaturity in my opinion.

I come here to enrich myself from education and experience of people all over the world and this is what I get to read.

Should we allow these racist rants on an educational forum like this? How was this statement helpful to any of us here?

---------- Post added at 08:18 AM ---------- Previous post was at 08:13 AM ----------

I can't believe a guy doing his PhD would rather enrich our knowledge through posts like this. I would have loved to read something from your research work and publications.

Dude, because I am doing a PhD, i am not human? Is that your logic? I did mention that they do not all do that. Look I am black, I am the most likely to be stereotyped. However, this is my experience and you want to shoot me because I say what I see? I made a complaint about it and nothing was done. There are many brilliant Asian students in my university who I work with and I tell them this too. They agree but say it is a minority of them. I am simply appalled by the nature in which it happens. I must mention that I see africans students doing the same; however, I do not see it as much. They just talk a different language so the invigilators can not say anything. I was born in Africa but I speak only English, however when I see my fellow Africans in small groups doing the same thing, I know what they are doing. Would it be rascist perhaps for me to say that? Or because I am African I should say :"that is rascist" if you were to say you saw Africans doing it. I am realistic. If my brother cheats, i would say he cheated. Simple. I do not cheat.

#### Andy Nguyen

Apparently, the problem is more widespread than we read about. While searching into this story, I came across a story from 2008 about GMAC (the organization behind the GMAT test) shut down a website that allowed students access to current GMAT questions.
Shutting Down a GMAT Cheat Sheet
GMAT Cheating Scandal: Drawing to a Close - BusinessWeek

Reading the comments, it seems like a well known practice for many students to go to websites in their languages to post and share test questions. One of the sites mentioned is chasedream.com which I came across before but couldn't tell what they were discussing. And there are literally hundred of websites out there that doing this test question sharing thing.

So if you see someone got 800 Q GRE, high verbal score but can't write proper English, how do you explain? Many MFE programs don't interview students, just evaluate them based on the test scores would have a hard time judging the true qualification.

#### echostate

To those who've seen Chinese students at US universities, it's no eye-opener. Cheating and plagiarism are rampant among the Chinese -- and gutless American academics usually turn a blind eye towards it.

Two comments: 1) students in US just have "smarter" way for cheating and plagiarism, e.g., "group discussion", which is "officially encouraged" and "highly effective". 2) You are probably biased and doing "selective sampling" on your observations.

It's actually a fun topic. US students are "smarter" in the sense that they do "group discussion" for homework (rather than "cheating" or "plagiarism"). I'm actually surprised that group discussion for homework is officially recommended in US schools. In this sense, nobody is "cheating" --- they are just "discussing" --- but the truth is, as long as one student in the group is good at the subject, everyone in the group knows how to do the homework. My experience TAing Optimization class is an example. The class has very very very tough homeworks, and guess what? In HW1, a lot of students sucked, and suddenly in HW2/HW3/etc, everyone got basically decent (and essentially similar) answers by joining a group (of course, they will report the group members they discussed with) ----- thanks for the "group discussion" policy. I think, Wow, students here clearly are not cheating, but they play the rules very well. There are still a few students submitting their own homework --- mostly from the third world countries like China where "group discussion" is not very popular ----- and their answers, good or poor, are very different from those based on "group discussions".

Your observations on cheating and plagiarism from some of the Chinese/foreign students are probably correct, but it is highly incomplete. In a country where "group discussion" is not encouraged, students will turn into two categories: 1) those cheat, and 2) those do everything by themselves. You noticed the first category, but did you noticed the second category (or you are too biased to see that)?

In the class I TAed, the only two A+ came from Chinese students ---- they did perfect job on their homeworks, projects, and finals. Their homework solutions are way better than those based on "group discussion" (and of course, their answers are very different to each other, too).

I personally got a lot of A+ in classes. My US classmates frequently invited me to the "group discussion" for homework. I came a few times (which end up with I giving my answers to the group for all difficult questions), and then I never came again. I viewed this kind of discussion as a indirect/smarter way for cheating on homework.

All I can say is that Business Week is ABSOLUTELY CLEAR in their categorization of students. "Asian-Americans" are US Citizens of Asian Ethnicity. The other Asian students who come to study on F-1 student visas are classified as "International - Asian" students.

According to Business Week data, more than 50% of the undergraduate BBA students in the Top 25 universities are "ASIAN-AMERICAN" even though "ASIAN-AMERICANS" are only 2% of US population. There are very few "International-Asian" visa students in the undergraduate BBA programs at the Top 25 universities.

The MBA demography is different because there are a lot of "International-Asian" visa students in the MBA programs.

If "ASIAN-AMERICANS" are mentally deficient cheaters, how come the 2% of "ASIAN-AMERICAN" population is able to successfully take up over 50% of the undergraduate BBA seats at the top 25 US universities.

Two comments: 1) students in US just have "smarter" way for cheating and plagiarism, e.g., "group discussion", which is "officially encouraged" and "highly effective". 2) You are probably biased and doing "selective sampling" on your observations.

For Caucasian students who are cheating -- and they are ample in number -- my conjecture is they're mostly in liberal arts. My conjecture is that those in the hard sciences and engineering tend to be die-hard types, and loners at heart. This is a conjecture, mind. Cheating and plagiarising are not confined to the Indians and Chinese.

It's actually a fun topic. US students are "smarter" in the sense that they do "group discussion" for homework (rather than "cheating" or "plagiarism"). I'm actually surprised that group discussion for homework is officially recommended in US schools. In this sense, nobody is "cheating" --- they are just "discussing" --- but the truth is, as long as one student in the group is good at the subject, everyone in the group knows how to do the homework.

Agreed.

There are still a few students submitting their own homework --- mostly from the third world countries like China where "group discussion" is not very popular ----- and their answers, good or poor, are very different from those based on "group discussions".

Chinese and Indian students form groups among themselves and discuss things -- whether officially sanctioned or not. Not saying local American students don't -- I just haven't seen so much of it.

Your observations on cheating and plagiarism from some of the Chinese/foreign students are probably correct, but it is highly incomplete. In a country where "group discussion" is not encouraged, students will turn into two categories: 1) those cheat, and 2) those do everything by themselves. You noticed the first category, but did you noticed the second category (or you are too biased to see that)?

There are reasons. First of all, there's often a language problem for Chinese and Indian students -- particularly understanding spoken language. Hence the getting together for group work and discussion. Secondly, the stakes are higher for them. Many do not come from affluent backgrounds (unlike their American counterparts), and their formal education, their grades, are their only passport out. Thirdly -- and I can hear the cries of the Boeotians again -- there's just a more relaxed culture towards this sort of thing in India and China.

Why do I care? Firstly, grades no longer reflect academic competence. If you've been working by yourself and struggling with the material and only got a "B," you are passed over in favor of someone with an "A" who may understand little of the material but engaged in "group work." Secondly, poor teaching goes unpunished. For example, a take-home assignment of four problems may be given -- each of them of daunting difficulty. A group of four that works on the set and engages in "division of labor" will turn in something better than someone struggling on his own. Yet perhaps such an impossible set should not have been handed out in the first instance -- the material may not have been taught properly, the terms not defined. I have seen this happen. So again "A"s are being handed out -- but the teaching has been incompetent and the consequent learning limited.

---------- Post added at 11:45 AM ---------- Previous post was at 11:41 AM ----------

If "ASIAN-AMERICANS" are mentally deficient cheaters, how come the 2% of "ASIAN-AMERICAN" population is able to successfully take up over 50% of the undergraduate BBA seats at the top 25 US universities.

Where is "mentally deficient" coming from?

#### physEcon

Two comments: 1) students in US just have "smarter" way for cheating and plagiarism, e.g., "group discussion", which is "officially encouraged" and "highly effective".

If something is not only sanctioned, but officially encouraged, then it is by definition not cheating. I believe most of these comments should distinguish between these things. If you believe that these discussions produce students with good grades, but a poor understanding, that is more a critique of the system and not the students as cheaters. Perhaps lazy could be applied, but cheaters no.

#### echostate

So if you see someone got 800 Q GRE, high verbal score but can't write proper English, how do you explain? Many MFE programs don't interview students, just evaluate them based on the test scores would have a hard time judging the true qualification.

800 Quantitative GRE is indeed very easy ... many foreign educational systems do emphasize math/phy/engineering subjects even in middle schools. Actually the GRE Quantitative tests are basically the junior-middle school level Math in countries like China/Russia. It is basically a joke as a graduate school Q test...

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