Jueves 6 de Noviembre de 2008, Ip nº 253

Half of cambridge students admit cheating
Por Joanna Sugden

They go to one of the world’s most prestigious universities and pride themselves on their superior intellect but almost half of Cambridge students admit they are not immune from the temptation to cheat and submit essays they find on Google, a survey suggests.

The results of an anonymous online poll of more than 1,000 students conducted by the student newspaper Varsity found that 49 per cent of undergraduates pass other people’s work off as their own at some point during their university career.

Only 5 per cent said they had actually been caught plagiarising.

Academics in universities across the country have been accused by their peers of turning a blind eye to the practice to ensure their institutions climb national and international rankings.

One student told Varsity: “Sometimes, when I am really fed up, I Google the essay title, copy and throw everything on to a blank word document and jiggle the order a bit. They usually end up being the best essays.”

Law students were most prone to plagiarism with 62 per cent of those questioned admitting to breaking university rules.

Wikipedia, the open source encyclopedia, was the most popular source for undergraduate research with 82 per cent saying they used that instead of consulting books in the university’s copyright library which has the right to a copy of every book published in the UK.

Robert Foley, a professor in biological anthropology at King’s College Cambridge, said: “It is a depressing set of statistics.”

A university spokesman told Varsity that it regarded plagiarism as a “serious and potentially disciplinary offence which can lead to failure to obtain, or withdrawal of a degree”. He said the university was planning to introduce detection software to crack down on the problem.

  31/10/2008. Times Online.