A Peking University professor has been accused of academic fraud after a background check revealed that her doctoral degree was obtained from a fake university in Europe.
The professor, 58-year-old Chen Chunhua, is being questioned after it was discovered that her doctoral degree was issued by an unlicensed university 21 years ago. Chen stated in her professional biography that she received her doctorate of business administration from the European University of Ireland in 2001, reported South China Morning Post.
The school, however, has no official website and is not listed in the 25 official Irish universities acknowledged by the Chinese education ministry. A report in “The Irish Times” in 2011 lists the self-claimed university as operating without an official approval at a Dublin address with no office.
Chen’s professional biography also states that she finished her postdoctoral research at Nanjing University in 2005.
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From 2015 to 2018, Chen was named in Fortune’s “China’s 25 Most Influential Businesswomen Leaders” list and is currently the dean of the Beijing International MBA Business School at Peking University, which is currently ranked as the 16th top school globally by Times Higher Education. Probes into Chen’s background began after she made suspicious claims of being a “military adviser” for the Chinese tech company Huawei. On July 6, Huawei released a statement explaining that “over 10,000 online articles” with Chen’s comments on the company were found as well as claims that she had met with the company’s founder, Ren Zhengfei. “Huawei does not know her, and it is impossible for her to know Huawei,” the statement said per Sina.
In one particular article written by Chen in 2017, she claimed that she had met with Ren and that he insisted on personally driving her.
Chen responded to Huawei’s statement by explaining that the articles were not written herself and that the company was used for a case study she had been working on.