The University of California, Los Angeles' Access Program, an umbrella group of life science departments, will require face-to-face interviews with foreign applicants before offering them admission, program officials announced last week. The new policy, the first of its kind to be publicized, will apply to all foreign applicants but according to university officials, applications from China are considered particularly problematic.

Last spring, Access administrators discovered that a Chinese student already accepted into the program had submitted a fraudulent transcript. After offering the student a place in an entering class, the admissions committee received an anonymous e-mail tip that the stamps on the transcript, meant to indicate authenticity, had been faked.

The e-mail contained enough correct information that the committee deemed it credible, said David Meyer, professor of biochemistry and associate dean of basic science at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) Access program, in an interview with The...

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