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Cheating Students: The Real University Challenge

50,000 students have been caught cheating in the past 3 years

In the past three years, almost 50,000 students have been caught cheating at 129 UK universities, though less than 1% have been dismissed, according to new figures.

The figures, which were posted by the Times Newspaper, revealed that 362 students were dismissed for cheating since 2012, making up 1% of those found guilty of misconduct.

Eleven institutions each caught 1,000 or more students cheating over the three-year period, with Kent University finding the most guilty at 1,947.

Five students were even caught arranging for someone else to sit their exams.

One university professor said he believed the use of professional essay writers, widely available on the internet, was on the rise.

Professor Geoffrey Alderman of the University of Buckingham told the paper: "What I'd call type-1 plagiarism, copying and pasting, is on the wane because it's so easy to detect.

"But my impression is that type-2 cheating, using a bespoke essay-writing service, is increasing."

Such services can charge hundreds of pounds for essays, dissertations and model exam answers written by professional lecturers up to doctorate level.

The top five universities which caught the highest number of cheats are as follows:

1. Kent 1,947

2. Westminster 1,933

3. East London 1,828

4. Sheffield Hallam 1,740

5. Oxford Brookes 1,711

However, a figure for concern was the scale of non-EU students that were found cheating. Further analysis showed that students from outside the EU were four times more likely to cheat in exams and coursework essays, making up 35% of all cases but accounted for just 12% of the student population.

Whilst many non-EU students make up the largest percentage of high achievers when it comes to graduate levels, the overwhelming majority do so legitimately. 

During a StudentTimes poll, we asked 'what would make you cheat on your assignment?'
78% of Students responded with the answers 'pressure from home' and 'university expense', whilst 2% responded with the answer 'because I want to'. 

In any case, student cheating may not be because students are trying to exploit the UK education system, but may instead be cheating in order to validate their inflated costs associated with education in the UK and being so far away from home, and their families. 

  • Date published: 04th January 2016

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