Overseas students lead UK's cheating record: Report

Overseas students lead UK's cheating record: Report

About 50,000 students at British universities have been caught cheating over the past three years, with many of them being scholars from outside the European Union, including India and China.

Students from outside the EU -– which includes countries like India and China –- were four times more likely to cheat in exams and coursework, according to a 'Times' investigation of more than 100 freedom of information requests.

Of the 70 varsities that provided data on overseas cheats, non-EU students were involved in 35 per cent of all cheating cases but made up only 12 per cent of the student body.

At Queen Mary University of London, 75 per cent of post-graduates found to have plagiarised were from overseas, with a third from China. At Staffordshire University, more than half of cheating cases involved foreign students, who make up a twentieth of the student body.

Universities are now able to detect plagiarism more easily through software tools such as Turnitin, which inspects individual pieces of work for plagiarism by comparing them with an online database of academic material.

But hundreds of unregulated "essay mill" websites that hire former academics to produce work for well-paying students can go undetected.

Geoffrey Alderman, of the University of Buckingham, told the newspaper: "What I'd call type-1 plagiarism, copying and pasting, is on the wane because it's so easy to detect. But my impression is that type-2 cheating, using a bespoke essay- writing service, is increasing.

"In certain cultures it is actually considered meritorious to copy from one's teachers' books... Some students need educating in what is, and what is not, acceptable."

Of the 2.3 million students in 2013-14, 310,190 were from outside Britain and the EU, with Chinese students leading that figure followed by Indians and Nigerians.

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