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China: BOSSA, Vericant team up to combat fraud

Beijing Overseas Student Services Association, a Chinese agency association with nearly 100 members across China, has partnered with Beijing-based video interview service Vericant in a bid to become the leading provider of student verification services for Chinese students applying to study overseas.

Chinese students speak to study abroad counsellors at BOSSA agency member New Oriental in Beijing. Photo: The PIE News.

A 2010 report by Zinch showed that as many as 90% of letters of recommendation in Chinese student applications are fake

The collaboration will allow foreign providers the option to have students submit applications accompanied with a Vericant video interview and academic documents verified by BOSSA.

“We’re aiming to become China’s most comprehensive and reputable student verification system”

“Under our new partnership with Vericant, we’re aiming to become China’s most comprehensive and reputable student verification system,” BOSSA communications director Jon Santangelo told The PIE News.

“A transcript and diploma aren’t always the most accurate indicators of academic character,” he explained. “Foreign institutions should also acquire a third party when reviewing and assessing student records and abilities.

Founded in 2011, Vericant provides video interviews demonstrating spoken English and soft skills of foreign student applicants along with a written essay by the student.

Falsified documents are a longstanding concern among institutions processing Chinese international student applications. A 2010 report by Zinch, which matches Chinese students with colleges and scholarships, showed that as many as 90% of letters of recommendation are fake.

In light of this, Italy, France, Japan and Korea all require Chinese students to have their academic records checked by the Chinese Ministry of Education before entering the country.

Both BOSSA and the MoE are advocating for more countries to make academic background checks compulsory.

BOSSA began authenticating academic records and providing notarised verification reports on behalf of the ministry through its Authentication Center in March last year; to date, the service has verified some 5,000 students records.

The MoE also granted BOSSA permission to begin translating academic documents into English in October 2014.

So far, BOSSA has marketed its verifications services to native audiences in China, but it plans to reach out to foreign institutions and organisations working in China in the near future.

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