Illegal Business with Theses and Essays Thriving in Czech Republic
Brno, May 24 (CTK) – Czech universities must more and more often solve the cases of students who have bought their essays or theses and this illegal business is thriving in the country, Veronika Kralikova, from Brno’s Mendel University who wrote about this phenomenon, has told reporters.
She is one of some 120 experts from 49 countries who attend an international conference on plagiarism at universities held in Brno these days, daily Pravo writes today.
Her research shows that some 8 percent of university and college students have their theses written for various reasons. They say they did so as they did not have time to write them themselves, the assigned topic did not intrigue them or they did not understand it sufficiently.
The annual turnover of this illegal business amounts to some 200 million crowns in the Czech Republic.
Not only Czech universities meet with such frauds. This is a global trend, Pravo says.
Czech universities have been intensively tackling the problem of plagiarism since 2010. There are many commercial software programmes that are able to identify complete or partial plagiarism.
Schools have taken measures how to deal with the students who cheat this way. However, they are often helpless face to face with the students who have ordered their theses elsewhere completely. It is difficult to find out that they did not write them themselves.
“It depends on the approach of the tutor who also works as a consultant very much,” Tomas Faltynek, deputy dean for foreign relations, said.
Kralikova addressed more than 1000 students and graduates in her study. Eight percent of them admitted that they had cheated sometimes.
This share varies between 6 and 10 percent in the world.
There are many companies offering to “process background materials” for university theses and essays on their websites in the Czech market.
“It is illegal to work out a whole thesis for someone else and this is why they are just offering documents,” Kralikova said.
She tested one of these firms ordering a 12-page essay the price of which was between 2400 and 5600 crowns. She bought two per 2500 crowns each. The first one was of an average quality, while the other could not be defended at university, she said.
These contracted essays and theses are usually written by other students, university graduates and lecturers.
There are several solutions to the problem, including deeper contacts between students and their tutors who should always require a feedback from their students.
Universities and colleges all over the world should also cooperate and see to it that the rather unethical behaviour is classified as unlawful.
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Title picture: Morten Oddvik