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Essay mills to be banned: crackdown announced on ‘completely unethical’ online services

Impact of market for ready-written nursing essays has been worrying universities
woman sits at laptop, with payment card in hand

Impact of market for ready-written essays bought online by nursing undergraduates has been worrying universities

Essay mills – services that sell ready-written essays to nursing and other students – are to be banned in England.

The government plans to make it a criminal offence to provide, arrange or advertise such services to university and college students in a bid to safeguard education standards.

‘Essay mills are completely unethical and profit by undermining the hard work most students do,’ said skills minister Alex Burghart. ‘We are taking steps to ban these cheating services.’

Thriving market in ready-made essays for nursing undergraduates

According to the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education , there are

Impact of market for ready-written essays bought online by nursing undergraduates has been worrying universities

woman sits at laptop, with payment card in hand
Picture: iStock

Essay mills – services that sell ready-written essays to nursing and other students – are to be banned in England.

The government plans to make it a criminal offence to provide, arrange or advertise such services to university and college students in a bid to safeguard education standards.

‘Essay mills are completely unethical and profit by undermining the hard work most students do,’ said skills minister Alex Burghart. ‘We are taking steps to ban these cheating services.’

Thriving market in ready-made essays for nursing undergraduates

According to the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education, there are more than 1,000 essay mills in operation.

A 2016 Nursing Standard investigation found the use of essay mills was worrying nurses in academia, with dozens of websites offering ‘original’ coursework for sale.

The investigation found there had been 2,752 cases of academic misconduct among nursing students over the previous four academic years, more than three quarters (79%) of which were plagiarism.

The Nursing Standard investigation found nursing coursework could be bought for as little as 99p online, with websites offering students essays from £8.99 per page.

Students need greater academic and pastoral support – NUS

The National Union of Students urged universities to put in place adequate academic and pastoral support to prevent students feeling they needed to turn to essay mills.

Critical thinking: your guide to better essay writing

‘These private companies prey on students’ vulnerabilities and insecurities to make money, and never more so than during the pandemic,’ a spokesperson said.


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