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October 1, 2009

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Court rejects graduate's tale of woe over diploma

A GRADUATE seeking 25,000 yuan (US$3,662) in compensation from a university for not awarding him a diploma yesterday had his case thrown out by Changning District People's Court.

Zhuang Tianhao, who graduated from East China University of Political Science and Law, said he lost the chance of becoming a government employee because he had no degree certification.

The university said it made the decision because Zhuang cheated in a physical education test.

Zhuang graduated from the university at the end of June last year. He passed the civil service exam before graduation and said he reached a tentative employment agreement with a government department.

However, he received only a standard graduation certificate at the graduation ceremony. Most of his classmates were awarded a scholar's degree certificate in addition to the graduation certificate.

Without the degree certificate, Zhuang was eventually refused the government job, he claimed.

Zhuang asked the university about the reason and was told he was given a demerit because he asked another person to attend a physical education test for him on November 14, 2007. The teacher discovered the Zhuang stand-in and seven other students were caught for the same offence.

"But I have never received a written disciplinary decision from the university," Zhuang said.

"The university also offered a notice to my tentative employer to prove I had no degree and a disciplinary violation."

He said his academic performance and graduation thesis were worthy of a degree certificate.

He asked the court to rule the university's decision illegal and order the institution to compensate him 25,000 yuan for his loss of job opportunity.

The university said it decided to give Zhuang a demerit record in March 2008.

Because Zhuang wasn't on campus at that time, the university said it called him to come and receive written confirmation of its penalty decision. The university said Zhuang did not turn up.

On June 6, 2008, the university's degree appraisal committee decided not to award the degree certificate to Zhuang and seven other students.

The university said the decision was legal and Zhuang did not have any evidence to prove he wasn't hired because he had no degree certificate.

The court concurred and said the university was not liable.


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