Students from top university institutions have made attempts to pay tutors to take their online exams and write essays for them during the COVID-19 pandemic.
As online assessments have dominated the university exam system this year due to the pandemic, students have submitted timed papers from their homes instead of the typical invigilated exam halls.
Private tutors have been increasingly approached with offers of thousands of pounds to complete these exams on behalf of the student. This is then often reported back to the university, and the student can be punished for cheating.
When talking to the Telegraph, private economics tutor Naomi Wilson claimed she was contacted several times through the platform Tutor Hunt by students requesting answers to their exam papers.
A message sent to her in May read: “Hi Naomi, noticed you cover economics. I’m a second year student sitting an International Economics exam (BSc) on Monday, 7 June. Appreciate this platform is for tutoring but was curious to see if you’re familiar with International Economics and if I sent the exam over on the day (10am), you could provide answers for this? Look forward to hearing from you.”
Wilson mentions cases involving students from Brunel University, Royal Holloway University, and the London School of Economics (LSE) who have made several attempts to cheat their university system and pay a professional for answers or even to take the exam for them.
Everyone involved in education knew this was going to happen, a lot of people have their heads in the sand about it
– Anonymous tutor at ‘Tutor Hunt’
All three of those universities responded with comments from spokespeople regarding their firm stance against academic misconduct and the definite consequences of cheating.
Another tutor, who asked the Telegraph not to be named, recently reported a case of an engineering student at a highly reputable university sending him a message via Tutor Hunt for help in sitting his exams.
Although the university took the allegation very seriously, this tutor stated: “Everyone involved in education knew this was going to happen, a lot of people have their heads in the sand about it.
“I would be astonished if anyone genuinely believed that they have robust exam systems that are safe against cheating – they must be aware there are huge quantities of cheating happening.”