Today, Wednesday 21 October 2020, marks the International Day of Action Against Contract Cheating, which is being supported by both the University and the Students’ Union. We are all aware of the problems that studying in a COVID-19 world is causing, however it is important now more than ever to ensure that you are maintaining your integrity throughout your time at the University of Nottingham.
Contract cheating, or false authorship is submitting work of which you are not the author and is viewed as an act of academic misconduct by the University (for more information see the Academic Misconduct policy). By submitting work in this way, you are not only running the risk of an investigation for academic misconduct but if you choose to use an Essay Mill you could also be opening yourself to blackmail, extortion and fraud. A report on Contracting to Cheat in Higher Education by the UK’s Quality and Assurance Agency indicates that
“Extortion and blackmail are becoming greater threats to people who use essay mills. Personal data may be stored online with minimal if any security, exposing customers to identity theft and bank fraud. Respondents to the survey undertaken in preparing this edition of the guidance, referred to reports of essay mills contacting students after purchases are made, threatening them with identifying them to their institutions unless further money is given to them. We also know that essay mills are contacting higher education institutions directly if students fail to pay the agreed price.”
Both the University and Students’ Union do not want any student to feel that they have to resort to using such a service that will not only affect their academic integrity, but could also have an effect financially and on their mental health. This is an extremely difficult year but there are many sources of support should you be struggling with your studies that are here to help you, such as;
- Personal Tutor
- Module Convenor
- Academic Support, including the Student Academic Skills team
- SU Advice
- Counselling Service
- Support and Wellbeing Service
There is also the University’s Extenuating Circumstances procedure for which you can request an extension to a deadline or to sit an exam at a later date.
Becca Craven - UoNSU Education Officer Sarah Speight - PVC Education and Student Experience