New study finds one in seven university students pay people to write their essays


By Imogen Horton, News Editor

A study by Swansea University has found that one in seven university students cheat during their degrees by paying for essays.

The new findings have shown a 15.7 per cent increase between 2014 and 2018 of the number of students who have admitted to cheating.

Professor Phil Newton, director of learning and teaching at Swansea Medical School, led the research and believes that the true number of students cheating in their degrees could be a lot higher, as those who have used essay mills are less likely to take part in research on the subject.

The use of essay mills is increasing in the UK as the products are often hard to identify, with each piece of writing being tailored to an individual brief.

Talking to Epigram, a former University of Bristol student admitted that they had paid someone to write their essay saying that 'it was the last piece of work I needed to submit and I was just fed up of writing'.

Despite being an illegal practice in some countries, such as New Zealand, the study found that the use of essay mills is on the rise worldwide. Essay mills are currently still legal in the UK, although there is an active petition calling for their outlaw.

In January 2017 Lords and academics urged for the practice of contract cheating through the use of third party essay writing to be made illegal as it was reported that more than 20,000 students were paying for their essays and dissertations.

Featured Image: Kaitlyn Baker / Unsplash

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