Despite a vigorous defence of the academic integrity of The University of the West Indies (UWI) by its vice-chancellor, lecturers and students have said that the culture of cheating extends beyond examinations to essay-writing and other work.
A canvass of several academic staff and students has revealed that there is a well-organised underground market in which students are charged up to $5,000 per page for essays, with third-party writing services even being advertised openly on social media.
A graduate, who was a tutor in recent years, said that numerous persons have been approached by undergraduate and post-graduate students to write papers.
“That is a regular thing. I think the whole university knows about it. That is not new … . I have been approached, and I am not the only one. I know others who have actually done it,” said the former tutor, who requested anonymity because of the stigma surrounding academic cheating.
“People are willing to pay anywhere between $1,000 and $5,000 per page, depending on the level, undergrad or postgrad. This is a big business.”
In response to growing concerns about exam cheating across UWI campuses, including at Mona in Jamaica, Professor Sir Hilary Beckles categorically denied the problem was wide-scale, charging that anomalies represented less than one per cent of outcomes.
“These are highly offensive, inflammatory, and unprofessional allegations because they are not rooted in any factual evidence … . To argue that the...
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