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Coventry University takes lead to tackle essay cheats

The university will lead the UK campaign for the first International Day of Action over contract cheating on October 19.

Coventry University will take a stand against online essay scams by joining institutions across the world for a day of action over the rising problem of contract cheating.

 

The university will lead the UK campaign for the first International Day of Action over contract cheating on October 19.

 

Contract cheating is defined as when a student uses an essay writing company or third part to write work or sit online exams for them. 

 

Online companies, largely registered outside of the UK, offer custom written essays for any subject or topic in what is a growing problem for universities worldwide.

 

As part of the global action day students are encouraged to share a message on social media about why they are against such forms of cheating to spread awareness of the bad practice and encourage others to take pride in their academic achievements.

 

The event is being led by the International Center for Academic Integrity (ICAI) and Coventry University will join institutions in Canada, Greece, Australia and the USA to educate new students and staff and help stamp out the problem.

 

The day follows on from a report published by the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education into the problems earlier this year.

 

Irene Glendinning a researcher into academic integrity at Coventry University, said:

 

“We have been working on this action day for some time. The issue of students paying for someone to do their work for them is hitting institutions across the world and has very serious implications.

 

“It undermines the quality and integrity of degrees and the entire educational system.

 

“But sadly contract cheating is a growing, multi-million pound industry making it very accessible and affordable for students.”

 

Coventry University’s Dr Thomas Lancaster, an international speaker on contract cheating, said:

 

"It is 10 years since I first exposed the problem of contract cheating in the UK. Since then, I've watched the market grow and seen the sheer cheek of essay writing companies getting inside universities to market their services.

 

“Moves by the government to make contract cheating services illegal are welcome, but there is still work to be done. This day of action being led by Coventry University can only be a positive step."

  • Date published: 19th October 2016

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