November 2nd, 2008

新京报/The Beijing News’ Wang Dianxue reports on the case of a lawyer who, on having official recognition of his masters degree from Hamburg University denied, sued the Ministry of Education’s China Service Centre for Scholarly Exchange (I would link to their website if the bloody thing worked- let’s just say it was a hell of a job figuring out their English name).


“Western Master” returns authentication of degree denied


Authentication body Service Centre for Scholarly Exchange says he concealed his domestic studies


Lawyer Mr Jiang earned a masters degree from Germany’s University of Hamburg which the Ministry of Education’s China Service Centre for Scholarly Exchange. Mr Jiang believes the service centre is not carrying out its administrative duties, and so sued. A few days ago, Haidian Court convened to hear the case.


Without authentication can’t read for a doctorate

2006年,江先生知有复旦大学-汉堡大学国际经贸(中国主题)双学位硕士项目,学习1年后可得硕士学位,他向汉堡大学报名参加。 2006年10月,江先生赴汉堡大学就读,2007年8月,江先生在复旦大学继续学习,两个月后毕业。根据项目要求,江先生很快得到了汉堡大学颁发的硕士 学位证书。

In 2006, Mr Jiang learned of the Fudan University-University of Hamburg Dual Masters Programme in International Trade (China), in which a masters degree can be earned in 1 year, and he sent his application to the University of Hamburg. In October 2006, Mr Jiang went to the University of Hamburg to study, then from August 2007 continuing his studies at Fudan University, graduating two months later. According to the programme’s requirements, Mr Jiang very quickly received his masters degree awarded by the University of Hamburg.


Mr Jiang applied to the Ministry of Education’s Service Centre for Scholarly Exchange to have his degree authenticated, but was refused.


Mr Jiang says, that not having his degree authenticated has caused him a lot of trouble getting a Beijing household registration, and he has no way to continue studying for a doctorate.


Degree said to be substandard


Yesterday, the attorney for the Ministry of Education’s Service Centre for Scholarly Exchange said that when Mr Jiang applied, he only filled in his study experience at the University of Hamburg and concealed his studies at Fudan University.


In its defence, the Service Centre said that when it contacted Fudan University about Mr Jiang’s study situation, it learnt that some of Mr Jiang’s studies in China had not met the educational authorities’ approval, and the programme had already been stopped. The Centre’s attorney said, when foreign universities run programmes in China they must be examined and approved, otherwise they could encroach on China’s educational institutions.


Mr Jiang believes his studies were completely legal. He said his study at Fudan University was a period of practice arranged by the University of Hamburg, and the the authentication he requires is purely of his University of Hamburg degree, and has no connection to his studies at Fudan University.


Court to investigate whether the suit can proceed


The Service Centre for Scholarly Exchange still believes it is not an administrative department and shouldn’t be accused in an administrative suit.


It’s attorney said, the Service Centre is a public institution, like a lawyer’s office, it provides a service. If other organisations have the ability to authenticate foreign degrees, they can also apply to the Ministry of Education for authentication qualifications.


To this, Mr Jiang said that at present the Service Centre for Scholarly Exchange is the only organisation in China with the ability to authenticate foreign degrees, and it has the authorisation of the Ministry of Education. Mr Jiang says, that since China only has one such organisation, it can’t be like a lawyer’s office, simply not serving if it doesn’t want to earn money, but when it recieves an application, it must process it.


Because the judge in court had not yet ascertained whether or not the Service Centre for Scholarly Exchange is an administrative department, the judge adjourned the court. Haidian Court will reconvene when this matter has been investigated.

Hey, there are jobs going in the New Zealand parliament, Mr Jiang and the attorney for the Service Centre would fit right in. I mean, there’s so much obfuscation and playing of silly buggers with words and language and the facts of the case here, and so little logic, that I don’t think I’d be hiring either of these two if I were in need of a lawyer.

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