Many students and parents in Ho Chi Minh City are being conned by swindlers who claim they can get them admission to any university even without taking entrance exams.
N.T.T.L., living in HCMC's Tan Phu District, looks again at an ad on the Internet which promises university admissions for a fee.
Your correspondent met a man who called himself Nguyen Van Hung and claimed to be a geography lecturer at the University of Social Sciences and Humanities (USSH) in District 1, asking to get his ‘brother’ admitted to USSH.
“I am 100 percent sure of getting students into schools like USSH, the University of Law, Nong Lam University, the University of Economics, and the Banking University,” Hung said.
He wanted VND60 million (USD2,900) which he claimed would be used to pay off academic affairs officers, faculty deans, and even school vice presidents and presidents.
Assuring he had “close connections” with those schools, he said he would refund the money if he failed to get admission.
He claimed to have got eight other students admitted to these schools.
They had advanced VND4 to 13 million (USD190-630) “But I need an VND18 million deposit in your case,” he said.
When your correspondent said he had only VND500,000 (USD24), Hung was agreeable and took the money.
There are several complaints about being taken for a rise by Hung.
P.X.B. of Binh Duong Province said Hung had promised to get his child admitted to USSH for a fee.
“I paid Hung VND4 million (USD190) in advance but I did not find my child’s name in the school register. [Hung] is nowhere to be found now.”
H.T.C., a resident of the city’s Hoc Mon District, was also unable to trace Hung after her child failed to get admission to the same school.
“I paid him VND6 million (USD290),” she said.
Dr Le Khac Cuong, head of USSH’s academic affairs office, said: “I have checked and can be sure that there is no lecturer called Nguyen Van Hung in the geography faculty.”
Many people also approach a person named Ha in Tan Phu District to get admission to university.
He claims he can get students who failed entrance exams into engineering and technical colleges.
His fees ranged between VND40 million (USD1,940) and VND70 million (USD3,400), depending on the major, Ha told your correspondent, and demanded a VND15 million (USD730) advance to strike a deal.
N.T.T.L of Tan Phu failed to get into a university in District 9 despite assurances by Ha.
“I paid him the entire amount, but he has fled,” she said.
Khiem of District 12 also claims to get university admissions in the city.
“It costs VND35 million (USD1,699) for admission to the finance-banking major at the Banking University,” he told your correspondent who approached him for admission for his ‘brother.’
“I need a VND10 million (USD485.4) down payment,” he added.