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A Shocking Revelation About Our University

Popularity 13Viewed 3428 times 2015-6-20 14:45 |Personal category:Life experience|System category:Life| conversation, revelation, university

Ron is a semi-retired Canadian, who now works in Xiamen, Fujian province. I wanted to know more about him, so I started a conversation with him on Wechat. Originally, I just wanted to know more about him, but the conversation turned out to be a shocking revelation about our higher learning. Here's an excerpt of our conversation.

ME: Do you teach in Xiamen?

RON: No, I was offered several jobs but for me to take one the school would have to fake a university degree for me. I never completed university.

ME: Yeah, you need a decent degree to get into teaching.

RON: I could teach or work in jobs that require university degree in Canada, USA or UK as my dual Citizenship (Canada & UK) and work experience allow that

ME: But in China, it's different.

RON: The sad fact is any degree allows you in to teaching in China, regardless of the subject or school. It is really meaningless and apparently 50% of the foreign teachers do not have degrees the schools fake them. I was interviewed by a school in Hangzhou and they told me I was the most qualified applicant for their Business English Teaching position, but we agreed that we did not want to fake a degree so I could take the job.

ME: Is it easy for you to fake a degree here?

RON: Yes I met four foreign teachers that had fake degrees, two of them told me they were working for the school for more than a year before they knew the school faked a degree for them. My 11 years as a practicing and Certified Project Manager gave me the skills to do the job. However though I am qualified my PMP oath and morals do not allow me to break the law like that.

ME: It's shocking that schools could help them doing that kind of thing. It just shows the corrupted education system in our country.

RON: I do not blame them or judge them, if I was in their position I might have gone that route too. Since I can live on my retirement money I do not need the money, however it would help me travel more in China if I could work there and earn travel money.

ME: I sometimes think of ways to work in foreign countries so as to better their language and culture.

RON: You have a degree right? Then it is possible especially with your English skills to obtain foreign opportunities.

ME: I got a college degree but the school I attended is a mediocre one.

RON: That matters less than what you do after you earn the degree.

RON: To me the real shock is that the system prevents qualified people from taking the jobs legally. So when the school runs out of qualified applicants who do they hire?
  1. Unqualified people with degrees that are looking for any work;
  2. Qualified and motivated people that do not have degrees;
  3. Native English speakers that are willing to bend or ignore the rules.
I did not realize until too late in my career that the main reasons that foreign opportunities for me were rare was because I did not have a University degree.

ME: Yes, degree is important in China. For most of corporations here, degree outweighs working experience when they need to find employees.

RON: Degrees are important for foreigners to work legally in most countries. However the U.S. Green card program also recognizes Work Experience and responsibilities on the job to qualify as equivalent to having a degree.  If China was that advanced in their policy I would have been teaching in Hangzhou for three years. Instead I am enjoying the beach, cycling, travel and language exchange while I am in China.

ME: It's sad that our system prevents someone like you to work here.

RON: Only because of the law probably encouraged by universities. But that is the reality so I accept it. It denies industry and schools from obtaining some of the most qualified and motivated teachers though.

ME: Ultimately, it's the talent that's important, and having a degree does not mean that someone is talented.

RON: Yes talent, motivation and patience . The great thing for me is I have a strong belief in mentoring, tutoring, giveback to the community, so I am enjoying tutoring Chinese people one on one that are learning English and now getting instruction and practice in Chinese. I cannot change the world, but I can give a hand up to a few people and help them change their life, while learning and enjoying life myself.

ME: Yeah, that's the right attitude towards life. I agree most of the things you've said.


(Opinions of the writer in this blog don't represent those of China Daily.)

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  • My Second Trip to Tanzania 2016-3-17 10:25

    RonJaDa: Hey Cody, that sound like a scary experience,  it is hard to know what to do.  I am glad you got through safe and did not encounter more serious probl ...
    Hi, Ron, thank you very much for your concern and kind suggestions. Yes, it's a valuable lesson for me.

  • My Second Trip to Tanzania 2016-3-10 19:39

    Hey Cody, that sound like a scary experience,  it is hard to know what to do.  I am glad you got through safe and did not encounter more serious problems.

    My recommendation would be to talk to your boss about it to ensure you are covered for future trips. If you legally have to declare a business trip and get the $250 visa, your company should be able to add that cost to your customers bill for your trip.

    It is always hard knowing how to deal with corrupt officials, but I guess this is a valuable lesson for you.

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