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More than 200 students caught cheating at Wolverhampton University

By Rob Golledge | Wolverhampton | Education | Published:

More than 200 students have been caught cheating at the University of Wolverhampton over the last five years, new figures show.

Students taking exams

A total of 173 were caught in the act during exams, mainly by using mobile phones.

And a further 32 were found to have cheated on coursework through plagiarism.

The figures show cheating has been steadily reducing over the past five years at the university.

In 2011/12, 52 students were caught cheating in exams and four on coursework.

But by 2015/16, the figure was down to 31 cheating in exams and just two on coursework.

The figures were released under the Freedom of Information Act submitted by local Liberal Democrats.

There are around 20,000 students studying at the university.

Jon Elsmore, Dean of Students at the University of Wolverhampton, said: "Issues of plagiarism and cheating are experienced at all universities and we are particularly robust at uncovering both. We treat these matters seriously.

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"Sometimes plagiarism can occur unintentionally, and if problems are identified early in a student’s career they can be helped to develop their academic skills and avoid more serious consequences if they do not change their approach.

“Instances of plagiarism and cheating are amongst the lowest levels in recent years and only amount for an extremely small percentage of all module results recorded.”

First time offenders will fail the module in which the cheating occurred, while repeat offences result in exclusion from the university.

Nationally, there was a 42 per cent rise in cheating cases involving technology over the last four years – from 148 in 2012 to 210 in 2016.

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Last year, a quarter of all students caught cheating used electronic devices.

Among the worst offenders were students at Queen Mary University of London, where there were 54 instances of cheating – two-thirds of which involved technology.

At the University of Surrey, 19 students were caught in 2016, 12 of them with devices.

Newcastle University reported 91 cases of cheating – 43 per cent of which involved technology.

Thomas Lancaster, Associate Dean at Staffordshire University and one of the UK’s leading experts on cheating, said: “These figures are only going to show what’s been detected and students who cheat well won’t always get caught, especially now there’s so much mini-tech out there which is hard to spot.”

Ian Jenkins, chairman of the Wolverhampton Liberal Democrats, said the FOI was submitted to highlight an important issue, adding: "Cheating of any kind is not acceptable and poses a threat to standards at Wolverhampton university as well as individuals and employers' confidence in the validity of qualifications gained.

"The institution can and must do more to stamp it out."

Rob Golledge

By Rob Golledge
@golledge_star

Part of the Express & Star special projects team responsible for investigations and major stories from politics to counter terrorism

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