As cases of 'academic misconduct' rocket, computer programs able to identify plagiarism are being overtaken fast
Tens of thousands of students in universities across Britain have been caught cheating in exams and coursework – and the trend is on the rise, according to a investigation by The Independent on Sunday.
Over the past three years, more than 45,000 students at 80 institutions have been hauled before college authorities and found guilty of "academic misconduct" ranging from bringing crib-sheets or mobile phones into exams to paying private firms to write essays for them.
Some 16,000 cases were recorded in the past year alone, as university chiefs spent millions on software to identify work reproduced from published material, or simply cut and pasted from the internet.
But officials last night warned they were fighting a losing battle against hi-tech advances – which means it is becoming increasingly difficult to detect the cheats.