Cheating is on the rise in Irish universities and colleges, with business studies students most likely to be accused of “academic dishonesty”.
Since 2010, there have been at least 2,300 cases of students cheating at universities and institutes of technology, according to information compiled by The Irish Times based on Freedom of Information requests.
The volume of cases has been rising annually across most colleges at a time when technology is making it easier to cheat by concealing smartphones or other electronic devices in exam halls or plagiarising, using so-called essay mills online.
A breakdown of cases of cheating across colleges indicates that business studies students are more likely to cut corners – or at least get caught doing so – in exams.
However, arts students are the worst offenders when it comes to plagiarism or failing to credit other people’s work in their assignments.
At IT Sligo, a student was disciplined for forging a medical cert to get out of an assignment, while two students at the same college were caught sneaking notes inside their calculator covers.
The consequences for cheating vary across different institutions, ranging from penalties such as a reduction in marks, letters of warning, fines, suspension or even expulsion.