COVENTRY University have taken a stand against online essay scams by joining institutions across the world for a day of action over the rising problem of contract cheating.
Defined as when a student uses an essay writing company or third party to write work or sit online exams for them, contract cheating is rapidly becoming a growing problem for universities worldwide.
The university led the UK campaign for the first international day of action on Wednesday (October 19).
As part of the global action day, students were encouraged to share messages on social media about why they are against such forms of cheating to spread awareness of the bad practice.
Led by the International Centre for Academic Integrity (ICAI) and Coventry University, the event will join institutions in Canada, Greece, Australia and the USA.
Irene Glendinning a researcher into academic integrity at Coventry University, said the university had been working on the action day for some time.
She added: “The issue of students paying for someone to do their work for them is hitting institutions across the world and has very serious implications.
“It undermines the quality and integrity of degrees and the entire educational system.
“Sadly contract cheating is a growing, it is very accessible and affordable for students.”
Coventry University’s Dr Thomas Lancaster, an international speaker on contract cheating, said: “It is 10 years since I first exposed the problem of contract cheating in the UK.
“Since then, I’ve watched the market grow and seen the sheer cheek of essay writing companies getting inside universities to market their services.
“Moves by the government to make contract cheating services illegal are welcome, but there is still work to be done.
“This day of action being led by Coventry University can only be a positive step.”