Cagayan universities deny 'influx' of Chinese students, allegations of degree sales

Cagayan universities deny 'influx' of Chinese students, allegations of degree sales

THE private higher education institutions in Cagayan denied on Friday, April 19, 2024, the reported “influx” of Chinese students in the province.

In a joint statement issued by the Presidents of Medical Colleges of Northern Philippines (MCNP), University of Cagayan Valley (UCV), University of Saint Louis-Tuguegarao (USLT), and St. Paul University Philippine-Tuguegarao (SPUP), they said such reports were “grossly overstated and deeply offensive.”

They said there were only 486 foreign national students only in the SPUP and not 4,600 as reported. The foreign students consist of various nationalities including Americans, Chinese, Indonesians, Japanese, and Vietnamese.

“The enrollment of foreign students in Cagayan Province is a testament to the province's commitment to diversity, inclusivity, and respect for human rights. By welcoming students from other countries, the province is demonstrating its commitment to the values of tolerance, respect, and understanding. This can help create a more peaceful, harmonious, and inclusive society,” the statement reads.

“The insinuation that the presence of Chinese students in the City's Universities poses a threat to national security is not only baseless but also deeply offensive. It is a blatant display of racism and Sinophobia that has no place in our society, especially within the realm of education,” it added.

The four institutions said that they implement stringent admission criteria and screening processes in place to ensure the suitability of applicants. They said they also follow the internalization policies of the Commission on Higher Education (Ched).

They also denied reports that Chinese students pay P2 million to get their degrees in Cagayan universities.

They noted that the cost of tuition fees for foreign students at SPUP, the only university with foreign students, is around $1,000 per trimester.

“The insinuation that Cagayan Universities are diploma mills is not only insulting but may also be libelous. Students undergo a rigorous vetting process aligned with the Commission on Higher Education (Ched) requirements such as completion of academic courses, comprehensive examinations, and thesis/dissertation,” they said.

“The suggestion that Chinese students may be involved in espionage is not only unfounded but also reflects a dangerous stereotype that unfairly targets an entire group of individuals based on their nationality. Such accusations not only undermine the integrity of our academic institutions but also perpetuate harmful stereotypes that have no place in a civilized society,” it added.

Earlier, Cagayan Third District Representative Joseph "Jojo" Lara sought for the conduct of a probe on the matter.

Senator Sherwin Gatchalian also urged Ched to look into the alleged selling of degrees to Chinese students for up to P2 million. (TPM/SunStar Philippines)


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