At least 1,500 students at Irish universities have been reported in the past three years for exam cheating, plagiarism or the use of so-called ‘essay mills’.
Trinity College Dublin and TU Dublin reported the most cases, with more than 1,000 cases of students attempting to cheat on exams or assignments at the two universities.
The Technological University of Dublin (TU Dublin) reported that it had processed 568 cases in which students allegedly violated examination regulations or plagiarized material.
In the final academic year, there were 33 cases of suspected exam cheating and 138 cases in which a student plagiarized a paper for their assignments.
The university said the data did not include any additional work underway at the time, meaning the numbers could still rise further.
TU Dublin said the cases it has handled have resulted in the expulsion of two students from the college in the past three years.
A spokeswoman for TU Dublin said it is committed to ensuring the highest academic standards are maintained for its 30,000+ students.
TCD said there were 445 cases of suspected fraud in the academic years between 2019 and 2021, but the figures for the last year are not yet available.
For the 2020/21 academic year, it reported 143 cases of plagiarism and 154 cases of fraud, according to records released by the FOI.
When asked how many students had been expelled or suspended for academic fraud during that period, it said there were none.
University College Cork (UCC) has reported almost no cases in the last three years, with just one case of plagiarism being registered in the 2019/20 academic year.
The University of Cork said there had been no reports of exam cheating or the use of attachment grinders during the period and no students had been suspended or expelled.
The University of Galway said eight cases of cheating or plagiarism were reported to its Discipline Committee or Examinations Security Group in the past academic year.
Over the past three years, more than 110 cases of academic fraud have been reported, 12 of which were later overturned on appeal.
The university said cases of plagiarism or contract fraud would only be referred for full investigation if “the scale of the fraud is so material as to have a serious impact on the academic integrity of the work.”
A spokesman for Galway University said it had addressed the problem through education, good assessment design and a standard process with regular workshops for staff.
Maynooth University said it had recorded just over 200 cases of academic fraud in the last three years.
There were 11 cases of exam cheating where students were found with notes. There were none in 2020/21 when the review was online due to Covid-19.
Maynooth University said there were four cases last year in which students were discovered to have contracted fraud services or essay mills.
There were a total of 186 cases of plagiarism, with the university saying no students were suspended or expelled because a “first offense” was not dealt with that way.
Dublin City University (DCU) reported 99 cases of plagiarism, exam violations or other suspected fraud between 2019 and 2021.
Of these, 73 were confirmed, with four students prevented from re-enrolling for further study at the university during the three years. DCU said figures are not yet available for 2022.
A DCU spokesman said: “The university is committed to a strong culture of academic integrity to support students and works closely with student leaders in DCU to promote this.
“This threat affects both the students and the value of their degrees and the institutions, and this is well understood by the students.”
The University of Limerick said it had dealt with 65 cases of fraud in various ways over the past three academic years. Only one of those cases was said to have resulted in a student’s suspension.
A spokeswoman said UL is vigilant to ensure academic integrity and that cases of misconduct are dealt with “fairly and consistently.”
University College Dublin (UCD) said it could not provide figures on cheating for the past two academic years, but said 117 cases had been reported in 2019/20.
https://www.independent.ie/irish-news/education/1500-students-caught-cheating-at-irish-universities-since-2019-42022279.html 1,500 students have been caught cheating at Irish universities since 2019