Instead of a graduation diploma after three years of scrimping and studying, Zhang has been sidelined by bureaucratic bungling and a bizarre case of mistaken – and double – identity.

A job offer from a hospital, hinging on the diploma, is in jeopardy.

A telephone call from her college last Thursday provided the devastating news that the Zhang Yan on its graduation list was another Zhang Yan.

The out-of-luck Zhang, who lives in Songjiang District, received her admission letter from the Shanghai Ouhua Vocational Technical College three years ago.

She has been studying as a nursing major at the college since then.

She can’t get her diploma because, according to the college, "she hasn’t been admitted."

The case is under investigation by the Shanghai Education Commission and the Educational Examination Authority. Both were unavailable for comment yesterday.

"I grew up in a poor family and my mother is a farmer," Zhang said. "All of the tuition fees, amounting to 40,000 yuan (US$5,266), during these three years were borrowed from relatives and friends.

"My only hope is the job where I can make money to pay off the debts … I am so depressed."

Zhang cannot afford a legal challenge.

The college said the admission letter was sent to Zhang Yan in Fengxian District.

"I can clearly remember the moment I signed for the EMS, with my admission letter, in August 2004," Zhang said. "I do not know the person of the same name in Fengxian District.".

The college admitted its error yesterday, saying that at the registration for freshmen three years ago, officials didn’t carefully check student IDs.

"Last week before we prepared diplomas we were informed by the Ministry of Education that the records of Zhang Yan were not in accordance with the file we provided," said a master of the college, surnamed Fan. "We found we had admitted the wrong one."

Fan said they were astonished. The Shanghai Educational Examination Authority told Fan that the Zhang Yan in Songjiang District achieved a higher score than her namesake in Fengxian.

However, there is no record of her admittance to any college.

Fan said the personal file stored in Ouhua College belonged to the Zhang Yan of Fengxian District.

"We called the Zhang Yan in Fengxian last week who told us she had been studying at Shanghai TV University for the past three years and had just graduated," Fan said.

"She told me she received the admission letter from our college three years ago, but did not come to register and chose another school.

"The letter is now lost."

Via: Shanghai Daily