Oxford claims turned out to be too good to be true

A PowerPoint slide of fees sent to OXKO’s KAIST researcher. [SCREEN CAPTURE]

A Korean organization has been caught claiming to offer Oxford University degrees to Korean and Asian students who cannot study in Britain due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Calling itself the Oxford Postgraduate Institution – South Korea (OXKO), the organization used the university’s logo on its website and claimed from last December until recently that the Candidates accepted into its program could earn a master’s or doctoral degree from Oxford.

He is now the subject of a criminal investigation for fraud by the Korean authorities.

OXKO claims to have been authorized by Oxford to help Korean and Asian students unable to study directly at UK university due to travel restrictions and harsh conditions caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

He claimed he would accept students for programs until 2025 on a trial basis.

After a KAIST researcher contacted Oxford to inquire about OXKO, the legendary British institution blew the lid off the scam.

A message from the University of Oxford in response to the KAIST researcher's inquiry into the authenticity of the organization. [SCREEN CAPTURE]

A message from the University of Oxford in response to the KAIST researcher’s inquiry into the authenticity of the organization. [SCREEN CAPTURE]

“This organization has no connection with the University of Oxford and we strongly advise you to disregard any documentation provided by them,” the university’s Graduate Admissions Office wrote in an email. to the KAIST researcher. “Please do not use the services advertised by this organization.”

The university’s office of international engagement also told the researcher that a certificate sent by OXKO to the researcher had been falsified and that the university had reported the organization to officials at the British Embassy in Korea.

In an interview with the JoongAng Ilbo, the KAIST researcher said he could have lost a bundle if he had accepted the OXKO scam.

“They charge 8 million won ($6,733) from applicants for their programs, but if their business is based on false advertisements and exaggerations, they shouldn’t be allowed to operate.”

After the KAIST researcher posted the university’s email on social media, along with his own warning that OXKO was a fraud, the organization reported him to police in July and filed a complaint. complaint for defamation. He claimed to have received recognition from Oxford to operate as a ‘legitimate liaison’ for students wishing to study abroad.

Seongnam Jungbu Police Station, which handled OXKO’s defamation complaint, said it would not pursue criminal charges against the KAIST researcher for posting information it deemed “in the public interest.” , however disadvantageous that may be”. [OXKO].”

Police noted that the KAIST researcher “did not seek to get off the hook, but rather acted in the public interest of fairness and transparency.”

Since dropping its criminal complaint, OXKO has changed its logo and website and now claims to “support students wishing to study at Oxford by guiding them through the application process and helping them through to successful completion.” of their degree.

However, the English section of OXKO’s website still claims that employees of the organization’s “partners” can “apply for a master’s or doctoral degree at OXKO” to receive “a wide range of scholarships.”

BY MICHAEL LEE, CHUNG HEE-YUN [[email protected]]

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