London : As many as one in seven graduates may have paid someone to undertake their assignment for them, potentially representing 31 million students across the globe, a new study suggests. The study, published in the journal Frontiers in Education, has revealed that the use of contract cheating -- where students pay someone else to write their assignments -- is rising rapidly around the world.
1 in 7 college students pay people to write essays
Because the products of essay-mills are designed to be difficult to detect, it is hard to develop objective measures of contract cheating, the researchers said.This new study therefore systematically reviewed findings from prior 'self-report' research papers; questionnaire based studies wherein students were asked if they had ever paid someone else to undertake work for them, the research team added.
The researchers found that across the sample, contract cheating was self-reported by average of 3.5 per cent of students, but this was shown to be increasing significantly over time. In studies from 2014 to present, the percentage of students admitting to paying someone else to undertake their work was 15.7 per cent. Cheating, in general, also appeared to be on the rise according to the studies reviewed.
The data is actually likely to underestimate levels of contract cheating, for the simple reason that students who engage in contract cheating are less likely to volunteer to participate in surveys about cheating, the researchers said.