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Varsity staff in dock over exam scam.

They allegedly abused their post and privileges to gain access into the university's database and tamper with the English exam results.

Two staff members at the admission section of a university in Dubai allegedly tampered with the English assessment results of as many as 20 students for bribes totalling Dh300,000, a court heard.

The two former employees, identified as Russian M.N., 32, and Lebanese M.A., 33, allegedly abused their post and privileges to gain access into the university's database and tamper with the English exam results and documents to help the students pass the admission requirements. The duo continued this alleged practice even after M.A. had resigned in October 2012. They would split the money between them.

They stood trial in the Court of First Instance on the charges of taking bribe, forgery and use of forged electronic documents. The incident was reported in January.

In a preliminary internal probe, three students were learnt to have been allegedly involved in the forgery of English certificates and they were each investigated. They admitted to be involved.

M.N. allegedly collected bribes ranging from Dh12,000 to Dh20,000 from some students for forging the TOEFL certificates, and manipulating the grades and assessment documents so that they could be admitted in their majors.

The admission section director, a Lebanese, said during the Public Prosecution investigation that administrative procedures had to be taken by the university against 14 students after their alleged involvement in the manipulation of the English assessment exam results was exposed.

She found out about it while she was checking the admission details of the new students. "Original assessment certificates of English were not received from five students. No student should be admitted before such certificates are submitted."

She checked with M.N. and the latter told her that he had yet to put the students' certificates in the system. He showed her copies of two assessment certificates which were not originals. She verified those copies and saw they were forged.

M.N. claimed to the director that M.A. lured and implicated him in such practices. He also claimed that he never collected any money from M.A. and he did it as just a favour.

Seven students were found to have forged their TOEFL and IELTS certificates, while nine others had had their English assessment results tampered with. A search is still underway for other similar cases.

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Publication:Khaleej Times (Dubai, United Arab Emirates)
Date:Nov 18, 2014
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