New book unpacks motivations behind ‘contract cheating’

An expert says the housing crisis, cost-of-living pressures and language barriers are prompting university students to turn to “contract cheating”, where bespoke essays and assignments can be bought online, writes Tory Shepherd for The Guardian Australia.

Dr Guy Curtis from the University of Western Australia, who edited the soon-to-be-published book Contract Cheating in Higher Education, said his research found about 10% of students submit assignments written by someone else, and more than 95% of them are not caught. He found those with English as a second or subsequent language are three times more likely to cheat. Males, and those in degrees such as engineering, business and IT, are also more likely to cheat.

“University study is hard, and it’s harder to do in a language that’s not yours,” Curtis said. “There’s a lot of evidence of what students say when they talk about their engagement with contract cheating, employing ghost writers, or outsourcing coding. They do it when they’re under pressure. Family pressure … the cost of living, living away from home, finding the work difficult, or that they don’t have enough time or support from their universities.”
Full report on The Guardian Australia site