There has been a rise in cheating at UEA, it has been alleged. A total of 70 allegations of cheating in UEA examinations were registered in 2014 – 2015, indicating more than a 30 percent increase in cheating in two years.
According to the Freedom of Information request obtained by the Eastern Daily Press, the majority of the offences were committed by international, non- EU students. Seven incidents were recorded by home and EU students during 2012 – 2013, rising to nine in 2014 – 2015. However, 44 international students were accused of cheating during the academic year ending July 2013, rising to 61 allegations two years later.
It is worth noting, however, that these figures show a rise in allegations of cheating, rather than proven cheating incidents.
According to a UEA spokesperson, many of the allegations were “minor or technical breaches of [UEA’s] very strict examination procedures, rather than real attempts to cheat”.
Last year, most reports were made due to unauthorised possession of notes – a total of 20 incidents – whilst 17 students are alleged to have started writing before the official start of the examination, and nine continued to write after the exam had concluded. There were also incidents of entrants communicating and using mobile phones.
Addressing the discrepancy of incidents between home and international students, the spokesperson blamed the differences between education systems and cultures across the globe.
“Overseas students are less used to the examination culture than UK students who will have had experience at A Level examinations of the sort of restrictions we have in place, such as the bar on mobile phones being on a person during the examination.”
Speaking to Concrete, Undergraduate Officer Theo Antoniou-Philips dismissed the idea of these statistics suggesting a cheating problem at UEA, but suggested that more be done to help international students adapt to the British education system.
“The information disclosed shows a modest and probably statistically insignificant rise in recorded incidents of cheating at UEA. However, while the number of allegations is insignificant, the difference between home and international students is concerning, especially because we believe that international students are unwittingly cheating due to misunderstanding. Therefore, the Union would like to call on UEA to improve induction and education around assessment offences, particularly for international students”.
Malaika Jaovisidha, International Students Officer, had nothing further to add.