A Hong Kong school at the center of a scandal over fast-tracked graduate degrees also cranked out diplomas for policemen.
Lifelong College gave bachelor’s degrees in criminal justice to 17 policemen through Tarlac State University (TSU), its Philippine affiliate, Apple Daily reports, citing its own investigation.
Earlier reports said Wan Chai district councilor Anna Tang and TVB actress Sisley Choi took shortened graduate courses.
Last year, Hong Kong authorities began an investigation into Lifelong for allegedly cranking out doctoral degrees by shortening the programs up to three years and helping candidates write theses for a fee.
The scandal has embroiled Herdip Singh, an associate vice president and comptroller of Lingnan University who resigned in November amid an internal investigation into reports he plagiarized his TSU thesis.
The officers, aged 24 to 45, were enrolled in TSU between January and March 2013 but Lifelong backdated their records to Oct. 29, 2012, according to Apple Daily.
In fact, TSU had halted its international program in early 2013 after Philippine media reported that Lifelong and TSU were collaborating to fast-track degrees.
The 17 policemen included five sergeants and 12 lower-ranking officers who had served between five and 25 years. Nine were in the marine police.
Some were allowed waivers in several subjects to meet entry requirements to the bachelor’s program.
And some applied for tuition refund from the government for the waived subjects, although these were not registered with the Education Bureau, the report said.
A police spokesman said officials are looking into the new revelations.
Barrister Albert Luk said the policemen may have committed forgery and conspiracy to defraud.
If convicted, they could be jailed up to 14 years for each offense.
They have little chance of getting a reduced sentence on the grounds of ignorance because they are law enforcers, Luk said.
– Contact us at [email protected]