Selling Essays To Students To Become Illegal
‘Essay mills’ will soon become illegal in England in a bid to curb ‘contact cheating’ in universities.
Anyone who’s been to university will recall feeling absolute misery when you hit the wall of a difficult essay. As you procrastinate around it, curiosity might lead you to explore just how much it’d be to get someone to write it for you. The majority of people never go through with it of course, as that’s cheating.
However, some students evidently pour money into essay-writing services, as there’s more than 1,000 of them in operation, according to a UK university watchdog.
Under new legislation, those who offer to write an essay for students for a fee will be committing a criminal offence. The government says this will protect people from the ‘deceptive marketing techniques of contract cheating services’.
Gareth Crossman of the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education said the move will ‘send a clear signal’ to the relevant firms, but urged it’ll be the responsibility of the higher education sector to stop these ‘unscrupulous outfits’ from further business. Skills Minister Alex Burghart described them as ‘completely unethical’, BBC News reports.
Fortunately, rates of cheating are low in UK universities. Few students are said to actually use essay mills, and a 2018 survey indicated 15.7% of graduates had cheated at some point during their time in university.
‘Universities have become increasingly experienced at dealing with such issues and are engaging with students from day one to underline the implications of cheating and how it can be avoided,’ a spokesperson for Universities UK said.
They added that all institutions have severe penalties in place for anyone who submits work they didn’t produce themselves, and there’s support systems in place so nobody is ‘in the position of feeling that they have to turn to essay mills in the first place’.
‘These private companies prey on students’ vulnerabilities and insecurities to make money through exploitation, and never more so than during the pandemic,’ the National Union of Students also said.
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