Contract Cheating Hits 15% – Will Be 20% By 2028?

As the latest study from Phil Newton shows, 15% of current students have paid a third party to complete their work for them.

Looking at survey results from over 50,000 students, dating back to 1978, Phil has shown a sharp and significant increase in the percentage of students who are contract cheating.

At the current rate of increase, the figure is rising by around 5% every 10 years. If nothing changes and the linear rate of increase continues, we could expect to see 20% of students contract cheating by 2028 (or 25% by 2038).

Speaking in Times Higher Education, Phil said:

To tackle the problem, we are going to have to have more conversations with staff and students about academic integrity and how to promote it and, clearly, we need legislation. As countries like [the Republic of] Ireland and the US legislate against it, the UK risks becoming the country where essay mills find it easy to do business.

It certainly is time to act. A whole range of measures are necessary, not just legislation, but also looking at the way students are taught and assessed to prepare them for the employment available to them today.

Dr. Thomas Lancaster is an international expert in academic integrity, best known for raising awareness of contract cheating through leading research and other activities. He regularly provides expert seminars and media commentary. Thomas is a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and a Computer Science practitioner. To discuss opportunities to work with Thomas, please contact
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