Channel 4 investigates the level of cheating in British education

Channel 4 researchers found that in the past four years more than 58,000 undergraduates have been investigated by their universities for plagiarism. Of the 40,000 who were disciplined, 400 were expelled or excluded from higher education, while 12,000 had marks deducted, affecting their final degree classification in many cases.

Thomas Lancaster, a senior lecturer at Birmingham City University said: “I think there’s a lot of cheating out there. What we detect is only the tip of the iceberg.”

The programme also exposes dishonest marking in secondary schools by highlighting several cases in which teachers had changed pupil assessments or coursework to artificially boost a school’s performance.

One teacher told the programme: “There was one girl, her coursework had no punctuation in it at all. In the end, I just had to go through it myself and put in the full stops and commas and the capital letters because she just couldn’t get it … We made sure that every student had coursework that was C and above.”

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