Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Academic Frauds in Show Business

Former Microsoft China chief Tang Jun has been embroiled in a controversy over his educational claims. He's recently repudiated, or should I say 'refudiated', claims of of a Ph.D from prestigious CIT (California Institute of Technology). It turns out, Tang's doctorate is actually from San Diego-based Pacific Western University an unaccredited diploma-for-money operation. In Chinese parlance, it's a "Carleton University" degree, a term from the novel and popular TV series, Fortress Besieged, which starred Ge You and Chen Daoming. In it, Ge You's character goes to Europe to study for four years at three different universities. Eventually, he buys a certificate from an Irishman establishing his educational bona fides with a Ph.D from a fictional Carleton University before returning home.

On the heels of this hot topic, diligent gossip reporters have begun investigating the educational credentials and claims of entertainment personalities.
A quick summary of their findings, what the resume says vs the reporters' 'truth':

Dubious claims
  • Gong Xinliang - Huayi Brothers made her education a big deal, "International Investment and Capital Management, Tsinghua University, class president" and made her out as both beauty and brains coming from the financial industry; born in 1987 and debuted in the 2008 If You Are the One, the writer is dubious and figures she had to begin as a white-collar worker since high school
  • Charmaine Sheh - University of Switzerland, Hotel Management; only 200 students, not much more than a Chinese vocational school
  • Gigi Leung - graduate of Hong Kong Polytechnic University, actually only attended two years before dropping out
    • It is said that Gigi considered a 'money diploma' but declined for fear of being discovered
  • Jane Zhang Liangying - Sichuan University, Department of Foreign Languages, actually she attended an adult education school but did not try to deceive anyone
  • Gong Li - Beijing University, graduate student; actually only conducted self-study in sociology
Low but sincere
  • Jay Chou - high school education
  • Chow Yun-Fat - only middle school education
  • Zhou Xun - art school graduate from Zhejiang Province, Hangzhou
Truly educated
  • Karen Mok - attended three universities, speaks mulitple languages
  • Eason Chan - Kingston University, London, Department of Architecture, and 4 year music program
  • Daniel Wu - Oregon State University, architecture graduate
  • Wang LeeHom - graduate of Williams College, Massachusetts, graduated with high marks
  • Jessica Hsuan - graduate of University of London, Imperial College, Materials Engineering

(Xinhua), 2

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