Bath\’s a very expensive city you know

The son of a Chinese government official was jailed yesterday for trying to bribe a British university professor with £5,000 to pass his degree.

Yang Li also took an imitation firearm into the meeting with the don and another senior academic at Bath University.

A court heard that Li, 26, was studying a masters degree in innovation and technology management and feared failure.

He was dismayed to learn he had been given just 37 per cent for his dissertation which was a fail – and would have meant him spending an extra year at the university.

That would have affected Li’s visa which he was hoping to upgrade from a student visa to a tier 1 visa.

Li, who was born and educated in China, asked to meet Professor Andrew Graves and Dr Stephen Shepherd to discuss his options.

Bristol Crown Court heard he told the pair ‘I am a businessman’ before placing £5,000 in cash on the table.

£5k just doesn\’t cut it I\’m afraid.

I\’m also amused by the Mail\’s photo. It\’s of a student dorm in the centre of town rather than of the uni itself. And no, it\’s not the student dorm the bloke lived in either.

19 comments on “Bath\’s a very expensive city you know

  1. A masters degree in innovation and technology management eh? Seems the biggest scam in this story wasn’t Mr Li’s creative approach to passing his studies…

  2. 5000 quid between the two of them, with one of them a Prof? How cheap does he think our academics are? Anyway, that’s not how you go about things. You get your Dad to donate some money.

  3. That building’s the Innovation Centre down by Churchill Bridge, I believe, not a student hall

  4. Telos – “5000 quid between the two of them, with one of them a Prof? How cheap does he think our academics are?”

    I would have thought that was about right. No doubt there is a sliding scale, but Bath Poly and Nursing College is not at the LSE end. What did they sell their PhD for? A million or so. A full Professor at Bath is probably about what you would tip your waitress after a good night at the tables. Less if he is not blonde and curvy.

  5. For a senior prof that is around and about a month’s salary, for most of them rather more.

    As this is academia, we need an exchange rate to the traditional means of failed students passing exams. Thus how many nights of escort fun you could buy with 5k (more than 1 I would imagine), convert at a discount rate of, say, 1.5 nights of nooky with your average student of the bribee’s sexual persuasion, and I’d guess he’s actually overpaying by quite a lot. Perhaps the rates in China are (relative to income of the bribee) steeper but the direct approach is the norm.

  6. This story has suggested that Mr. Li shows promise with regards to innovation but is hopelessly inept when it comes to technology management.

  7. Hopelessly inept at bribery, too. Had he addressed them separately, he might have had success. Bribing two at the same time is sure to fail.

  8. >I would have thought that was about right.

    Well, it wasnt, was it? You need a bigger wad than that. That isnt even a months salary for a Prof, even at Bath Uni.

  9. Ben Six,

    This story has suggested that Mr. Li shows promise with regards to innovation….

    I think it may prove one of Worstall*s, namely that engineers are not good at economics.

  10. Maybe if he had bribed each of them much earlier in the process and larger amount each?
    Would have expected a dissertation to mean some meetings (ie more than one) with his academic advisor, including at least a draft or two so would know if on the right track, going off wrong etc. Then to get 37% shows pretty bad….

  11. You really do have to do something pretty spectacular to get 37% on a Master’s dissertation. A substantial amount of blame must apply to this chucklehead’s academic supervisor for letting it get to the point where he was failing this egregiously. And £5k isn’t even getting-out-of-bed money. I wonder if the fake gun was Plan B. Plomo o plata as they used to say in Colombia.

  12. Telos – “Well, it wasnt, was it? You need a bigger wad than that. That isnt even a months salary for a Prof, even at Bath Uni.”

    You are not considering the special circumstances. He approached two of them at the same time. And his gun fell out. That may have scared them into reporting it. You do not know whether it would have been enough if he had talked to them individually, quietly, and without any fake firearms.

  13. He should have spent the money on a coterie of big tattooed ‘security’ advisers to accompany him.
    Fear is better than greed.

  14. >You are not considering the special circumstances. He approached two of them at the same time. And his gun fell out. That may have scared them into reporting it. You do not know whether it would have been enough if he had talked to them individually, quietly, and without any fake firearms.

    I can assure you, as an academic myself, that 2.5k wouldnt get me out of bed.

  15. @ Telos
    I get out of bed if there is something interesting to do, regardless of the pay packet. That’s because I am a real person.
    I specifically chose my post-graduate course to ensure that I got pushed out into the real world instead of being asked to teach while doing my third and fourth degrees.

  16. Perhaps you should have chosen a course that taught you that the literal meaning of a statement is not always its real meaning.

  17. Telos – “I can assure you, as an academic myself, that 2.5k wouldnt get me out of bed.”

    Really? Do you teach at Bath? How much do you charge to review an article for a journal? Or a book for a publisher? How much do you ask for to give a paper at a conference? Are you an external at any other British university? If so, what do they pay you to do it?

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