University administrators step up investigations on ‘essay farms’ from where students buy essays and assignments to make the grade.
Last year, media reports revealed that thousands of students were buying essays and completed assignments paying up to $1000 for the ‘service’. Companies like MyMaster and Assignment King were reportedly openly advertising their services in Mandarin on various community websites.
The Australian National University which managed to pick-out some 51 fake assignments last year is now warning students not to put their future at risk as they will be failed and expelled should the fraud be uncovered. According to a report in The Canberra Times, the ANU has launched another major investigation into the matter, this year.
This time, the company Assignment King is the focus. The company claims to haves some 250 writers who have graduated from some of Australia’s top universities providing tailor-made assignments and essays.
“Claims by such websites that they won’t be detected are simply not true. Those who get caught cheating risk disciplinary action, the most serious of which is expulsion from the university. It just isn’t worth the risk.” warned ANU deputy vice-chancellor, professor Marnie Hughes-Warrington. Expulsion could subsequently result in a cancellation of their visa.
Universities warn that despite claims of the companies, ‘it is very likely that parts of a purchased assignment will be taken from the web, or from previous work, or from similar requests, so it will be detected.”
Other universities including the University of Melbourne and the University of Canberra are also on the look out for cheats. Last year, the University of Canberra, investigated 420 cases and found 391 had cheated.
“The university advises students that there is nothing to be gained from academic misconduct. They are very likely to get caught and they will create gaps in their knowledge that place them at a disadvantage in the workforce.” University of Canberra.