In recent years, a number of high profile studies have been carried out in relation to the facts and figures involved with respect to plagiarism in UK universities. Studies carried out by research institutes such as plagiarism.org and global cyber plagiarism have found that student cheat admission percentages vary between 60-70% of total students surveyed. This highlights the scale of the problem faced by modern schools, colleges and universities in regard to preventing the continual spread and development of plagiarism. The figures are so high chiefly due to the increasing trend of students purchasing completed research assignments completed by other students via unethical essay companies. In the worst cases, research institute plagiarism.org has found as much as 95% of students surveyed admitted to cheating in some form (i.e including small case plagiarism such as reference switching and mosaic plagiarism). Additionally global cyber plagiarism has found that as much as a quarter of UK students have plagiarised written material at least once during their years of academic study in higher education institutions. The Times has also reported that over 50,000 students have been found guilty of cheating via plagiarising written material in the last 3 years. Their findings shed light on what they chronicle an ‘epidemic of plagiarising’ which is ongoing in the modern, contemporary world of higher education study. 36% of university undergraduates surveyed by the research institute plagiarism.org also admitted to paraphrasing and copying sentences from internet sources without citing, referencing and footnoting them appropriately.
A study conducted by The Daily Telegraph in 2017 has found that over 20,000 UK students purchase academic assignments and submit them as their own work. The Guardian highlights that 40% of the time this assignment purchase plagiarism occurs at the top universities in the country such as both Oxford and Cambridge. This suggests that the internet has had a significant effect on the rapidly increasing plagiarism figures country-wide in the UK. This is because many students within the top universities in the country are paying for completed research assignments, dissertations and thesis from essay companies and submitting as an example of their own work. Please refer back to the consequences section of this website to gain a better understanding of the consequences involved for students in engaging in such activities. To counteract these massively increasing plagiarism figures, modern colleges and universities have enlisted the help of computer programming software to better track work which has been plagiarised. The computer programming software package is called ‘Turnitin’ and enables colleges and universities to spot when students have streamed large sections of online content with the express intent of passing off other people’s work as their own. In the UK, uptake of this software package is considerable with over 98% of British academic institutions including schools, colleges and universities using the software package.