It will soon be illegal to pay someone to write a university essay on your behalf, BBC News are reporting.
‘Contract cheating’ is a process in which organisations or individuals provide pre-written or custom-made essays for students to present as their own in academic submissions.
A study by Swansea University in 2018 of more than 50,000 students found that 15.7% admitted to cheating since 2014.
It means that at least one in seven recent graduates had paid someone else to do their work for them.
Essay mills are already banned in the United States and New Zealand, and the English government will soon be making it a criminal offence.
The ban is set to be introduced as part of the Skills and Post-16 Education Bill.
The National Union of Students told the BBC that essay mill companies thrive on the emotional turmoil of students.
They said: “These private companies prey on students’ vulnerabilities and insecurities to make money through exploitation, and never more so than during the pandemic.”
A spokeswoman for Universities UK also told the BBC: “Universities have become increasingly experienced at dealing with such issues and are engaging with students from day one to underline the implications of cheating and how it can be avoided.”