Education department moves to prosecute essay mills

The Department of Education and Skills is planning to introduce laws to prosecute ‘essay mill’ companies who offer to write students’ assignments in exchange for money, writes Carl O’Brien for The Irish Times.

The move is a response to mounting concern over the practice which allows students to circumvent their college’s plagiarism detection systems. The use of these services is not easily detected as software used by universities only detects where students have copied from previously published academic texts.

Minister for Education and Skills Richard Bruton said he plans to give powers to prosecute essay mills, and is considering a ban on these companies advertising their services. In a statement a spokesperson for Bruton said Quality and Qualifications Ireland is to develop new guidelines for this area. He said the Qualifications and Quality Assurance (Amendment) Bill was also due to give the body “specific powers to prosecute ‘essay mills’ and other forms of cheating”.
Full report on The Irish Times site