Sunday 25 September 2016

Universities catch more than 800 student cheats

Sasha Brady

Published 02/05/2016 | 11:18

839 students were caught breaching exam regulations in Ireland's seven universities during the academic years 2012-2013, 2013-2014 and 2014-2015.
839 students were caught breaching exam regulations in Ireland's seven universities during the academic years 2012-2013, 2013-2014 and 2014-2015.

Irish figures from the last three years show that more than 800 university students have cheated in their exams.

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UCD was the only university that reported students being suspended for their actions.

None of the universities reported an expulsion.

The other institutions either did not suspend those found guilty of misconduct or else did not make the information available when asked by the Mail.

Through the Freedom of Information Act, the Mail found that NUI Galway reported the largest number of exam cheats at 329, followed by 291 in UCD, 90 in UCC and 77 in University of Limerick.

Trinity College Dublin reported it only spotted one cheat in the three years prior to this academic year.

The student was caught cheating in the 2014-15 academic year, but Trinity did report 11 cases of plagiarism since 2012.

UCD revealed a total of 501 exam breaches since 2012, also recording 19 cases of plagiarism, three cases of exam conduct violations, eight cases of removing a scripts or stationary from the exam hall and 161 other breaches.

The five students caught cheating twice received suspensions of between one and a half to two years, and were fined between €200 and €1000.

UCD reported no expulsions but revealed 13 students were suspended for up to two years, while other colleges said none were suspended or the information was not available.

Dublin City University (DCU) reported eight cases of exam cheating, but excluded the year 2012-13 and declined to reveal details on how the offenders were disciplined.

A DCU spokesman told the Irish Daily Mail: "Penalties may include a zero mark, the requirement to resit the compete assessment, repeat the year and, in certain circumstances, expulsion from the university.

"Additional work can also be imposed, for instance, a reflective essay on the importance of academic integrity".

All of the universities declined to reveal how the students attempted to cheat, and only UCD revealed what disciplinary action was taken.

Overall, 839 students were caught breaching exam regulations in Ireland's seven universities during the academic years 2012-2013, 2013-2014 and 2014-2015.

The five universities which caught the highest number of cheats are:

NUI Galway: 329

University College Dublin: 291

University College Cork: 90

University of Limerick: 77

NUI Maynooth: 43

Dublin City University: 8 (excluding 2012-2013)

Trinity College Dublin: 1

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