Chinese Whispers: 100 Grand to Get You Into Oxbridge
Can’t get into Oxbridge? Here’s a way to win your entry. One thing: it costs 100K.
China’s mega-rich are spending up to £100,000 on ‘educational consultants’ to get their sons and daughters into Oxbridge.
For a handsome fee, Chinese ‘princelings’ get intensive tuition, advice and coaching from well-connected advisors who “know the system”, helping them secure places at prestigious public schools, and onwards to Oxford and Cambridge. Students even get lessons on the UK weather and the British sense of humour.
The news has come to light after it emerged that Bo Guagua, whose mother was arrested last month in connection to the murder of British businessman Neil Heywood, had high profile connections who helped him attend Harrow and Oxford.
Bo was mentored by Old Harrovian Heywood himself, as well as by former adviser to Maggie Thatcher and Oxford graduate, Charles Powell on his way to studying at Balliol College.
Bo, who now attends Harvard, was alleged to have lived a lavish playboy lifestyle while at Oxford and reportedly lived in a 5-star hotel during his studies.
Bo was one of the first Chinese students to be coached into Harrow and Oxford, but now it seems that getting wealthy children into Oxbridge is a Bo-oming industry. One consultancy firm, BE Education, charges between £50,000 and £100,000 to set these super-wealthy teenagers on course to Cambridge.
Milly Farid, a Clare mathmo from Beijing, said that “with such huge disparities in wealth emerging in China, it seems inevitable that a culture has come into being where anything – including a semblance of intelligence – can be bought.”
“The country is teeming with services that help wealthy kids get into whatever school they want: for the right price, you can find someone to take your tests, write your applications, coach you and ultimately ‘convince’ a school to take you.”
“The system is definitely unjust, but though it’s new to China, it is clearly not unique to China. Hasn’t the British system been working like this for centuries?” she added.
It is understood that in the hope to secure places, some families have even resorted to offering massive seven-figure donations to colleges before admission, although these are always turned down.
All these rack up an impressive bill. And that’s before you even count regular expenses.
Cambridge Uni estimates that living as an international student can be over £8000 a year, upwards of £4000 for college bills and a whopping £13,000 in tuition fees.