Fake Foreign Teachers

I missed this when it came out, but my colleague Paul Hyder was kind enough to direct me to the article.

Tony Chen, described as the president of Taichung Foreign Language Service Association
, told the China Post that as many as 40% of foreign teachers may have fake diplomas. How Tony knows this, I have no idea. In fact, I am quite sure it is not true. Before I taught at MCU, I taught for many years in buxibans and while there are many ‘fake foreign teachers’, it is no where near one in two. I suspect he is making up this number for the purpose of illustration. It is a fabrication meant to create the impression of crisis.

The article tells the story of Hungkuang University in Taichung which was involved in a controversial episode last year. Apparently, they hired a foreign professor who fraudulently claimed to hold a PhD in Linguistics. Both Paul’s article and this one state that the fraudulent professor was paid $nt2 million before he left. I am not certain what this means. If it is referring to salary he received before he was discovered, this would mean he worked at the school for more than a year before he was discovered.

Hungkuang University is a family-operated institution located in Taichung County. The article from the China Post implies the story is somehow connected to the problem of fake credentials at buxibans. This makes me laugh. The process of hiring foreign professors is identical to the process of hiring local professors and very different from hiring buxiban teachers. If the school was in error of hiring someone, it is because they were careless. As the MOE’s Yang Yu-hui (楊玉惠) points out in this article in Taiwan Headlines,

Hungkuang University must shoulder the entire responsibility for hiring this bogus professor. It is hard to believe a school of such caliber would be so careless during the hiring process.

If this reflects anything, it is that even small schools better served by classroom teachers are under huge pressure from the MOE to hire PhDs to teach even basic classes.

One final point. Tony Chen is an extremely common name, so I can’t be sure who this Tony is. However, several years back, a Taichung-based English teach named Tony Chen was involved in a publicity stunt that included a proposal of marriage to the vice-president Annette Lu.

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Comments

I saw that Lu-fancying celebutard Tony Chen on TV about a year ago. What a loon. He was talking about when his dad would beat him as a child. He started crying hysterically for a few moments, recovered, and then carried on making gags as if nothing had happened. It was freaky.

It’s gotta be the same guy; he’s always politicking, always angling for position and attention. And from five or so encounters with him in the past, I can confidently say naruwan is not overstating at all. Every encounter or viewing is madcap beyond imagining.

I think I should retract something: It might not be fair to say he’s always politicking and angling for position. But always seeking attention and extremely emotional, yes. It can be amusing in small doses, though, and there’s no denying that many of his students enjoy him.

ROFL. I also like the way the MOE disavowed Huangguang. Every university professor must be vetted by the MOE, and they must have missed the guy too.

Michael

I was wondering about this. Was he examined by the MOE like you and I were? If he was, then how was this discovered? I assumed that he was hired on an emergency basis or that the school had taken a long time to file all the documents for his application. I have seen faculty hired at the last minute who had to start the year without being examined by the MOE and then had documents submitted sometime later on in the year. I had assumed this was the case, which is why I mentioned the point about the $nt2 million. If he had been working there for more than a year, then he would have been examined. By if he was examined by the MOE, then how was it discovered that his degree was fraudulent?

I might be misremembering, but I recall reading that he was at a conference and said some things in passing that raised suspicions about whether he had the expertise he had said he did.

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