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Herguan University

Coordinates: 37°23′11″N 121°59′49″W / 37.38648°N 121.99691°W / 37.38648; -121.99691
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Herguan University
Herguan University campus
PresidentDr. Ying Qiu Wang
Location, ,
37°23′11″N 121°59′49″W / 37.38648°N 121.99691°W / 37.38648; -121.99691

Herguan University was a private, unaccredited, university and alleged visa mill[1] in Sunnyvale, California operated by Dr. Ying Qiu Wang. As of 2019, its domain names herguanuniversity.edu[2] and herguanuniversity.org[3] appear to be abandoned.

Dr. Ying Qiu Wang also founded the University of East-West Medicine (UEWM), which according to its website was founded in 1997 and operates where Herguan University was located. [4]

Accreditation status

Herguan University is unaccredited.

Herguan University was formerly accredited by ACICS.[5][6] ACICS lost its status as recognized accreditor on December 12, 2016.[7] ACICS revoked Herguan University's accreditation on Sept. 12, 2017.[8]

At one time, Herguan University was on the Oregon Office of Degree Authorization list of unaccredited colleges.[9]

Operating status

The University's MBA, MSCS, and MSEE programs operate with approval from the California Department of Consumer Affairs' Bureau for Private Postsecondary Education.[10] The Bureau is not an accreditation agency and does not confer accreditation status to educational institutions.

On August 2, 2012, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) served Herguan with a notice of intent to withdraw its SEVP certification.[11][12] Herguan's CEO has been indicted on visa fraud charges.[13]

On September 18, 2012, ICE revoked Herguan's SEVP approval, but rescinded that decision a day later.[11] According to ICE, Herguan's lawyer had sent the response to a wrong email address. The San Jose Mercury News reported on evidence that Herguan officials tried to get help from local and state politicians regarding the ICE investigation.[14]

On April 9, 2015, Herguan's former CEO, Jerry Wang, pleaded guilty to visa fraud.[15] On April 10, 2015, ICE moved to revoke Herguan's SEVP approval.[16]

On September 14, 2015, Herguan's former CEO, Jerry Wang, was sentenced to 12 months in prison and forfeiture of $700K for his role in a student visa fraud scheme at Herguan.[17]

On October 6, 2016, US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) revoked Herguan's SEVP approval, terminating their ability to enroll foreign students.[18]


The enrollment practices of Herguan have been compared to Tri-Valley University, whose founder had previously worked as an adjunct faculty member at Herguan. The Chronicle of Higher Education claims Herguan targets international students looking for full-time or part-time internships.[19] The enrollment as of August 2012 is around 450 people, of which 400 are from India.[13][20]

Other practices

Herguan obtained government approval to admit foreign students based on an application that included letters purporting to be from accredited colleges stating that they would accept credits from Herguan for transfer students. However, the letters were disclaimed by those colleges. An official at another college stated that Herguan staff offered payments in exchange for recognition. However, as recently as late 2010, most of Herguan's students were employed outside of California in full-time jobs, an apparent violation of the condition of their visas requiring them to be full-time students taking no more than one on-line class each term. This practice may have been curtailed in December 2010 when Herguan's president sent letters to all students requiring them to return to California.[19] The president, however, backtracked later, and offered students $500 to return for classes for six days.[21]

Several Herguan staff claimed that otherwise failing students had been able to buy passing grades by paying more money to the school.[19][21] Prospective students have claimed students get paid $1200 for each student who they refer to the school.[22] The school also maintained "educational consultants" who were paid for students they referred, most of whom were based in Hyderabad, India.[23]


  1. ^ "Universities or Visa Mills" (PDF). San Jose Mercury News. July 11, 2011. Archived from the original (PDF) on October 21, 2012. Retrieved March 1, 2020.
  2. ^ "Herguan University". Archived from the original on 2019-10-15.
  3. ^ "Herguan University". Archived from the original on 2020-12-05.
  4. ^ "History". University of East-West Medicine. Retrieved March 1, 2020.
  5. ^ "Accreditation Details". Dept of Education. Retrieved December 20, 2014.
  6. ^ U.S. Department of Education Database of Accredited Postsecondary Institutions and Programs
  7. ^ "Education Department Establishes Enhanced Federal Aid Participation Requirements for ACICS-accredited Colleges". December 12, 2016. Retrieved October 15, 2019.
  8. ^ "Herguan University Revocation" (PDF). Retrieved October 12, 2017.
  9. ^ "Oregon Office of Degree Authorization". Archived from the original on October 5, 2012. Retrieved December 27, 2010.
  10. ^ California Department of Consumer Affairs Bureau of Private Postsecondary Education
  11. ^ a b ICE Information for Herguan Students
  12. ^ Lisa M. Krieger and Molly Vorwerck (August 2, 2012). "CEO of 2 Bay Area universities charged in HSI-led visa fraud probe". Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Retrieved October 15, 2019.
  13. ^ a b "Sunnyvale university CEO indicted on visa fraud charges". San Jose Mercury News. August 3, 2012. Retrieved March 1, 2020.
  14. ^ "Shirakawa accepts money from Silicon Valley college at center of scandal". East Bay Times. February 21, 2013. Retrieved October 15, 2019.
  15. ^ "Bay Area university CEO pleads guilty to visa fraud". East Bay Times. April 10, 2015. Retrieved October 15, 2019.
  16. ^ "Ex-CEO of Bay Area university pleads guilty to role in student visa fraud scheme". Immigration and Customs Enforcement. April 10, 2015. Retrieved October 15, 2019.
  17. ^ "Former CEO of Bay Area university sentenced in visa fraud scheme". September 15, 2015. Retrieved October 15, 2019.
  18. ^ "Feds revoke student visas to Silicon Valley's Herguan University". October 6, 2016. Retrieved October 15, 2019.
  19. ^ a b c Bartlett, Tom; Fischer, Karin; Keller, Keller (March 20, 2011). "Little-Known Colleges Exploit Visa Loopholes to Make Millions Off Foreign Students". The Chronicle of Higher Education. Retrieved October 15, 2019.
  20. ^ "Herguan Students in Limbo After Feds Downgrade College Status". India West. August 9, 2012. Retrieved October 15, 2019.
  21. ^ a b Reddy, R. Ravikanth (August 9, 2012). "US varsity fraud: students took the risk". The Hindu. Retrieved October 15, 2019.
  22. ^ "Visa scam: Telugu students may lose an academic year". The Hindu. August 5, 2012. Retrieved October 15, 2019.
  23. ^ "Brokers thrive in state". Deccan Chronicle. August 6, 2012. Archived from the original on January 21, 2013.