The rise of fraud cases in recent years in independen

 enrollments has tainted the practice’s reputation and caught the authorities’ attention, w

ith parents buying academic papers and patents online to help their children stand out.

The Ministry of Education is asking universities to adopt stricter rules for independent e

nrollment; to avoid too much reliance on criteria such as research papers, patents and competition res

ults; and to limit the number of disciplines open for independent students.

Universities should also scrutinize application materials, make the procedu

re more transparent and the results more open and severely punish students committing fraud, the ministry said.

Chu Zhaohui, a senior researcher at the National Institute of Education Sciences, said

that instead of promoting talent and improving quality education, independent enr

ollment is encouraging corruption, which deprives many poor students of a fair chance to get a higher education.

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