Contract cheating is a type of academic misconduct within the Higher Education sector, both in the UK and abroad. The term covers a wide number of issues, including the purchase of part or full academic work (essay or dissertation) or the copying of work from someone else, with the subsequent submission of this work as a student’s own. Additionally, contract cheating is widely viewed as unacceptable due to disruption to other students’ education and for many moral reasons.
Unfortunately contract cheating is not new and has developed from small-scale proof-reading services to sophisticated ‘essay mills’, who produce thousands of pre-written assessments or provide model answers for student use. In recent years, it has become a significant issue with the rise of social media and ability for providers to pop up in newsfeeds to offer services and students seeing them. Contract cheating has also become, to some, affordable due to the number of essay mills or providers competing for business.
As part of our campaigning and working with the University, contract cheating is being addressed through a number of ways including checks to assessments via Turnitin, types of references and literature used, issues with authors of documents and changes of language. The University has also put a ban on essay mill websites on campus and has a reporting mechanism available for students who are concerned about providers.
If any student is found to have used an essay mill or bought an assessment, the University will fully investigate any suspected contract cheating and launch formal procedures against the student. Students if found to be guilty, will likely jeopardise their full degree, have to repeat modules (at full expense of repeating the work) and ability to stay at the University.
Your President: Education, Georgios Chnarakis, will be further lobbying the University this academic year to:
- Provide a University approved proof-reading service which checks for grammar and spelling
- Improve referencing support, through improved guides and tutorial
- Ensure feedback is detailed and personalised to each student and their needs
For details of new campaigns, contact Georgios.