53 Brentwood Blog

Sunday, September 10, 2006


One of Britain's newest universities has found more than 200 students guilty of cheating after it launched a crackdown on what university officials admit is one of the biggest problems they face.

Using a computer program to catch students trying to pass off others' work as their own - often simply 'cut-and-pasted' from the internet - Coventry University discovered that 237 students had broken the rules. As a result, seven were expelled from the university, while another 12 cases are pending.

These figures contrast starkly with numbers of cheats uncovered at other universities. Nottingham University disciplined 53 students for cheating and expelled just one, while Oxford, Durham, Edinburgh, Warwick and Newcastle did not uncover any cases serious enough to warrant expulsion.

'We decided we had to tackle the issue head-on to prevent students from assuming they would get away with it,' said Professor Donald Pennington, Coventry's vice-chancellor. 'We're not happy to have caught nearly 240 people cheating, but we're pleased to be so active in trying to stamp this problem out. It was a conscious decision to make it a high-profile issue.'

Like most British universities, Coventry uses a program called Turnitin to check students' submissions against a database of academic texts and other students' work to detect similarities.

Rob Davies
Sunday September 10, 2006
The Observer


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