November 22, 2018

GSM London supports calls for ban on essay mills

Ban Essay Mills

GSM London Student expresses her views on #defeatthecheat

GSM London’s Chief Executive, Professor Amanda Blackmore, has today joined dozens of university vice-chancellors and heads of higher education institutions in calling on the government to take stronger action against essay mills.

In a letter signed by Professor Blackmore and over 40 other sector leaders to the Education Secretary, they have called for the government to take action and ban essay mills on the basis that they “undermine the integrity of UK Higher Education and are unfair to the vast majority of honest, hard-working students.”

Unlike traditional plagiarism, essay mills provide students with bespoke, original pieces of work which cannot easily be detected by anti-plagiarism software. Ireland, Australia, New Zealand and 17 US states have already introduced or are introducing a ban.

Commenting, Professor Blackmore said:

“At GSM London we are clear that we do not tolerate any form of cheating. As such, we fully support the sector’s calls to ban essay mills and I was pleased to sign the letter to the Education Secretary. It is essential the sector continues to act strongly against all forms of cheating, but government action is required to truly clamp down on essay mills and to protect the vast majority of students who work hard to achieve their academic qualifications.”

Specifically, the letter calls on the government to:

  • Commit to introducing legislation to ban the provision and advertising of essay mills before the end of this Parliament;
  • Commission the Quality Assurance Agency (QAA), the higher education standards body, to develop and publish a draft Bill by or before the beginning of the next Parliamentary Session, building on their existing work with academic and legal experts; and
  • Support efforts by the QAA and the Office for Students to tackle this issue, including through the QAA’s proposal for a UK Centre for Academic Integrity, with a formal remit to research, analyse and combat academic misconduct.

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