When Guizhou City Vocational School wasn’t getting the respect it thought it deserved, it brought out the big names in academic circles to beef up its credibility. But it didn’t work as well as hoped — none of the universities that apparently offered their support actually endorsed the school.
The government-run school in Guizhou Province put up big red congratulatory banners it said were from top international universities to greet students and staff as they began school on a new campus, Nandu reported.
According to images uploaded online, nine of the world’s top universities – the University of Toronto, Harvard, France’s Tours University, Cambridge, Oxford, MIT, Stanford, Germany’s Technische Universität München and Humboldt University of Berlin – were among the schools that “congratulated” the school on its new campus.
A teacher at the school confirmed the existence of the banners and admitted that none of the universities mentioned actually sent any congratulations to the school.
Online users rushed to mock the school as a result. Weibo user Apostate_SLK wrote, “This is nothing without (congratulations) from Lanxiang vocational school,” referring to a vocational school from Shandong best known for training cooks and hairdressers that sees itself on par with Tsinghua and Peking Universities.
Another Weibo user joked, “Why not put up banners from Hogwarts (School of Witchcraft and Wizardry)?”
Even students from the school were shocked when they saw the messages. One student wrote on the school’s online forum, “It shocked me to tears.” Another user said, “Is it really necessary to bluff? It’s not as if we don’t know what kind of school it really is!”
It’s unknown if the banners were put up by the school or the local government.