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Thus the ability of educational institutions (or a student for that matter) to take civil action against assistors is limited.Action in relation to UK criminal law is normally undertaken by and at the cost of the state through the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) but requires a criminal offence to have been committed (private prosecutions at private cost are possible but relatively rare).Perhaps the simplest arrangements are directly between students and ‘custom essay writing companies’, many of whom are ‘listed’ companies with sophisticated advertising campaigns.
Ideally, both students and staff are given guidance about what constitutes academic misconduct and the consequences of such misconduct (Morris ).
If a student submits work that is shown to comprise, in whole or in part, material that is not their own independent work then that student will normally face a range of penalties, administered by their university, for academic misconduct.
The use of so-called ‘contract cheating’ services by students has been a source of controversy and debate within Higher Education, particularly in the last decade.
‘Contract cheating’ refers, basically, to the outsourcing of assessments by students, to third parties who complete work on their behalf in return for a fee or some other benefit (Lancaster and Clarke ).
In addition, and perhaps more importantly, is there the possibility of fraudulent behaviour in the relationship between the student and the company?
Broadly, legal wrongs committed in England and Wales may be addressed through the civil or criminal law (UK Government ).
Here we focus primarily on UK-registered essay-writing companies.
Across education, a student who completes an assessment to earn credit towards an award is normally required to do so on the explicit basis that the submission is their own independent work.
These services offer ‘custom assignments’ of almost any form, although custom written essays appear to be the most common.
Students are often able to specify the grade they want (although there is no guarantee this will be delivered), request drafts, referencing styles and almost any other custom feature (Newton and Lang ).