The former head of a local psychiatric hospital has been accused of obtaining several overseas doctoral degrees fast-tracked by a suspected diploma mill.
Paul Tam Mo-shing, 70, former head of Kwai Chung Hospital and a fellow of the Hong Kong College of Psychiatrists, was found to have received four doctoral degrees in a period of only five years from Tarlac State University (TSU) and Bulacan State University (BSU), two Philippine affiliates of Lifelong College, Apple Daily reported on Thursday, citing its own investigation.
Lifelong College is being investigated by Hong Kong authorities for allegedly cranking out graduate diplomas by shortening the programs up to three years and helping candidates write theses for a fee, the newspaper said.
Tam, who is currently a senior consultant psychiatrist at Union Hospital in Sha Tin, obtained the degrees between 2010 and 2015, the report said.
Apple Daily said he enrolled in TSU’s program for a PhD in Business Administration in May 2012 before submitting his thesis in just 10 months. It also took him only about six months to obtain another Business Administration doctoral degree from BSU.
In May 2015, he enrolled in a PhD program for Public Management offered by TSU, but Lifelong backdated it to May 2013, the report said.
During a phone inquiry by Apple Daily, Tam refused to elaborate on how he got his doctoral degrees, except to say he earned them through hard study and he did not break any law.
Economist Andy Kwan Cheuk-chiu said the quality of the programs in question is doubtful as only the best of geniuses could complete a doctoral thesis in 10 months’ time.
Meanwhile, the newspaper said 10 senior managers in the engineering field had also obtained doctoral diplomas fast-tracked by Lifelong, including Bengie Kwong Man-hang, former chief of Hong Kong Quality Assurance Agency and current executive director of Wong’s Kong King International (Holdings) Ltd.
Kwong admitted that he enrolled in the program but did not pursue the study. However, data from Lifelong showed that he graduated, Apple Daily said.
Founded in 1998 by Alex Lee Ye-lick, a member of the Lingnan University council, Lifelong College was accused last year of helping students obtain graduate diplomas within a short period of time.
Among those reported to have taken up shortened graduate courses were Wan Chai district councilor Anna Tang, TVB actress Sisley Choi and 17 policemen.
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