University College Cork (UCC) is withholding a number of exam scripts due to allegations of cheating.
A number of final-year students are being investigated after allegations of cheating and exam misconduct, according to The Irish Times. Students from the business information systems course are being questioned on information they may have used. A number of students “outsourced” key aspects of a final-year project which involved computer coding.
UCC confirmed the allegations in a statement with the words:
an ongoing process with a small number of students regarding possible breach of its examination procedures.
The investigation began after a student at the college alleged that up to 14 students may have been involved in presenting other individuals’ work as their own. The results of such an allegation triggered an internal review involving the college’s lawyers.
A number of students have been cleared of plagiarism but a "small number" of cases are still open. Plagiarism is a frequent conversation in campuses around the country. Students are required to sign documents to declare they are aware of plagiarism rules and to acknowledge their work as their own.
Penalties for cheating differ depending on the course or college. Students who are found to have breached these regulations may range from receiving a mark of zero for a project to exclusion from the university, which appears to be the case in UCC.
Universities are finding it increasingly difficult to manage plagiarism especially "contract cheating". Firms are offering written-to-order-essays or projects which are causing a serious issue as it's giving some students an advantage over others. Minister for Education Richard Bruton confirmed that new laws will be introduced that will make it an offense to advertise "cheating services".
In 2016, The Irish Times estimated that there have been about 1,000 cases of students being penalised in Ireland for plagiarism since 2010. The number is expected to be significantly higher as a number of colleges did not provide a figure.