College students around the country are now being targeted by promoters offering to write their assignments and assessments. It’s being reported by the Irish Examiner that one in seven students may have used contract cheating platforms.
They also reported that students are being messaged individually on Whatsapp, Facebook Messenger and Instagram asking about specific work they had to do during their course work.
Despite this Quality and Qualifications Ireland (QQI), said that they are doing everything they can to stamp down on this issue.
“Regular check-in meetings with TikTok and Google will enable QQI to share trends of concern observed which may inform monitoring, community policies and [the] discoverability and ranking of
A memo from Quality and Qualifications Ireland said that students were being offered discounts and hired as promoters around colleges in Ireland.
Students were at risk of using so-called "essay mills" for cheating on assignments.
International and post graduate students have also been targeted by these groups.
In the memo from the QQI, they said:
“Certain cohorts of learners appear to be more vulnerable to use of assignment writing services, “In particular: international students where the pressure to succeed is very high and high levels of shame are associated with failing.
“Postgraduate students where again there is a high level of investment in succeeding and learners may have additional financial and other pressures to deal with; and students on business and
computer science (and related subject area) programmes.”
The QQI have also said that they see a rise in this sort of cheating since the COVID 19 pandemic and that they have expanded their tools in paraphrasing in a way to get around strict plagiarism guidelines in colleges.
“QQI said international research showed as many as one in seven students may have used a contract cheating service”
It’s a very complex and difficult issue for universities and colleges across Ireland to stop and with the age of social media continuing to go, policing this issue could prove difficult.