Students at the University of Sydney are being monitored after a task force at the institution conducted a series of tests towards cheating scandals.
The test found that 1 out of 100 students in every exam resulted to cheating from their neighbour during multiple-choice questions. This is accomplished by the students utilising the classic layout of a lecture theatre with the ascending row of chairs.
The University of Sydney was the most widely affected with 37 students spread across multiple faculties found guilty of using the cheating technique.
The report outlines three areas of cheating that are currently in use at multiple universities across the state. The policies on the basis of ‘ghost-writing’ state that it is “where a person who is not the student completes the assignment and the work is then submitted as the students’ own, is an old problem, but new technology has enabled a rapid growth… The rise of the sharing economy, facilitated by the internet, has provided both easy access to strangers willing to complete student assignments for pay, and has dropped the price for such services, as accessing workers in developing economies is made easier.”
Several high-profile cheating scandals at the university were outlined in the report by the taskforce stating that “as many as 1000 students from 16 universities” had payed a Sydney-based company known as MyMaster to ghost-write their assignments. The students would pay up to $1000 for the websites service depending on the outcome the student wanted to achieve.
Yingying Dou, a 30-year-old Chinese woman and the sole director of MyMaster Group Pty Ltd website claims that the website is the largest essay writing service in Sydney. Flyers of the website found in university bathrooms state, “Are you racking your brains on your school work? Do you worry about spending $3000 retaking tuition on the failing subject? Leave your worries to MyMaster and make your study easier!”
Students from the University of Sydney expressed their outrage towards the cheating scandal with particular reference to the students who used the website for their own gain.
Jayden, 18, is studying both a Bachelor of Education and Arts and is frustrated by the scandal. He told The Newsroom, “The fact that there are people doing that, at any university is frustrating and disgraceful when they are getting away with things that people work really hard for.
“I just hope that those that did do the work for their degree are able to show it with the fact they actually know what they are doing, unlike these others.”
Natalie, 18-years-old and studying a Bachelor of Animal and Veterinary Bioscience, told The Newsroom she thinks cheaters are selfish, “They know that they are giving themselves an unfair advantage and yet they still do it. You might not be the best or not know how to do it correctly, but that isn’t an excuse.”
When these students were asked about what the consequences should be for cheating students the responses varied but all refer to whether these students should be expelled from the institution they are studying at.
Jessica is studying a Bachelor of Biomedical Engineering and Medical Science and unlike the others, believed cheating students should have a chance to explain themselves. “Generally speaking, no they should not be expelled. You have to consider their situation too. They might have a reason behind having to cheat, but it still doesn’t justify their actions,” she said.
“I don’t think they should be removed from university but I think they should get a zero and have it put on their report,” Natalie said.
Jayden agreed, “I think there are certain situations where people are under immense pressure or stress perhaps in other units of work or family that forces them into making the rash decision to cheat or copy work.” – Luke Rufford
Top photo from Thomas W’s FlickrPhotostream.