Universities must stop students from cheating and start by investing in them. The recent spate of cheating scandals has spotlighted the academic integrity issue in higher education. There is no doubt that cheating is a serious problem, but it is one that universities can only address if they are willing to invest in their students.
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Current approaches to combating cheating are not working and often simply punishing struggling students. We need a more holistic approach that supports students and helps them succeed.
One way to do this is by providing better resources and support for those who are struggling academically. This might include things like free tutoring or mentoring programs. It is also important to create a culture of academic integrity, where cheating is not tolerated, and students feel supported to succeed.
Investing in students is the best way to combat cheating, which is something that all universities should prioritise.
According to a National Center for Education Statistics study, cheating among college students has been on the rise since the early 2000s. The percentage of students who admitted to cheating on exams or assignments increased from 50% in 2006 to 70% in 2016.
It’s not just increasing cheating on assignments – so-called “contract cheating”, where students pay someone else to write their essays or do their jobs for them, is also rising. A recent study found that as many as 1 in 10 UK students has used contract cheating services.
The reasons for this increase in cheating are complex, but one factor is a growing pressure students are under to succeed. With tuition fees rising and the job market becoming increasingly competitive, students feel like they have to do whatever it takes to get good grades.
Another factor is the proliferation of online resources that make cheating easier. There are now many websites where students can buy essays or find someone to write their assignments.
The solution to the cheating problem is not simple, but universities need to do more to address the issue. One way to do this is by investing in their students and providing them with the resources and support they need to succeed. Only then can we hope to create a culture of academic integrity on campuses across the country.
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