cheating in Britain

The Independent newspaper of Britain reports that 45,000 students of 80 universities around the country have been caught cheating over a period of 3 years.

Some 16,000 cases were recorded in the past year alone, as university chiefs spent millions on software to identify work reproduced from published material, or simply cut and pasted from the internet.

What is interesting is how some people are “blaming” various factors such as the financial crisis and the easier access to higher education.

University bosses blame the financial crisis for raising the stakes in higher education, making many students willing to do anything to secure good grades – or just to stay on their degree courses. A number of experts claim that Tony Blair’s flagship policy of increasing access to higher education has left thousands of young people starting university without all the practical and intellectual skills required.

The paper also reports an interesting investigation they did with a paper mill.  They posed as a student and bought a paper.  Then, they checked it through Turnitin.com which returned a clean report.  When they submitted it to a professor…

Professor Rentoul’s verdict: “Some evidence of knowledge of the subject, but:

1. Very poor grammar and style, unintelligible in places (reads as if it has been translated by Google from another language);

2. Very poor sources and sourcing. All four books cited are polemical anti-war works. No primary material cited at all;

3. Argument, analysis and narrative weak and unsupported by evidence. Much too polemical rather than historical in style. The question needs to be defined and then the evidence for and against needs to be cited and weighed.

Please see me for further advice.” Mark: 42 (Third Class marks: 40-49)

Interestingly but probably not surprisingly, the paper mill company has the following disclaimer:

“AllWritingSource.co.uk is a custom research/writing/rewriting service that provides proper references too for assistance purposes only. It is necessary to use every paper with appropriate reference. The papers provided serve as model papers for students and are not to be submitted as it is. These papers are intended to be used for research and reference purposes only.”

Sure. Of course.

This is an excellent article about the practices of cheating in higher education.  Highly recommend it.

 

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