Education secretary urges PayPal to block essay firm cheats

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Damian Hinds has called for firms like PayPal to help stop websites that let students buy essays.

Hinds has also called for university students to report peers if they suspect them of cheating.

Paypal and other online firms have been seen to advertise or approve payments for students using essay writing services.

Damian Hinds calls for firms like Paypal to blog commercial essay writing servies

One issue that has faced universities since the beginning of time is plagiarism. Staffordshire University Student’s Union say that there are alternatives to essay mills after the government made calls to prevent them.

Staffordshire University’s Union President Tash Crump said: “I just think it’s pointless, my perception of people coming to university and being a student myself, you come to university to work for an outcome.

“If you’ve somehow cheated your way through it and you’re not actually doing the work yourself, when you graduate do you really feel like you’ve earned it and do you feel like you deserve that and I think that’s my sight of it, it’s like, university’s a great way to grow and develop”

The Staffordshire University graduate continued: “I think it’s about educating students and making sure they know what support is available at the university, so if they do feel like they’re struggling and they do feel like they can’t get an essay done and they need that help from somebody I think it is actually about making sure that they’re aware of our advice centre.

“I think that that’s what we can do as a university and as a union is to make sure that students are aware before they go out to any of these externals and try to do it that way. “

Staffordshire University’s Union President Tash Crump

Responding to the government’s announcement on measures to tackle essay mills, Chris Hale, Director of Policy at Universities UK (UUK), said: “We support government action to stop promoting and facilitating access to essay mills (essay writing services).

“UUK has called for essay mills to be made illegal and we continue to work together with government, the Quality Assurance Agency (QAA) and other higher education bodies to tackle their use.

“All universities have codes of conduct that include severe penalties for students found to be submitting work that is not their own.

“Such academic misconduct is a breach of an institution’s disciplinary regulations and can result in students, in serious cases, being expelled from the university.

“Universities have become increasingly experienced at dealing with such issues and are engaging with students from day-one to underline the implications of cheating and how it can be avoided.

“University support services are also there to help vulnerable students struggling with anxiety and stress around coursework and deadlines.”

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