12
Jul

More than 500 University of Liverpool students were caught cheating over two years, shocking figures today reveal.

A freedom of information request showed 482 students were convicted of plagiarism  in their essays during the 2012/13 and 2013/14 academic years.

Meanwhile, another 76 were found guilty of cheating in tests, usually by smuggling notes into the exam hall, over the same period.

There were also five cases of non-academic misconduct, including vandalism of university property, fraud and publishing offensive material online.

In the most extreme cases, students were kicked out of the university for their bad behaviour, while others were fined or their studies were suspended for up to two years.

Some of the most shocking examples of misconduct:

A student was fined £500 in 2013/14 for damaging university property and possessing a controlled substance. The student was also banned from living in university accommodation and made to take part in an anti-drug and alcohol campaign.

Another student in 2012/13 was kicked out of the university for publishing “offensive” material on social media that brought the institution “into disrepute”.

One student was booted out for fraudulently altering two bank statements to show he had paid money to the university, when in fact he had not. The discipline board ruled this was an attempt at “evading payment of an outstanding debt”.

In February 2013, a student was reprimanded for “extensive quoting without proper citation of sources used and use of material from online essay banks”.

Scores of students were caught with notes in exam halls – many were given a score of zero and some were suspended from studying for a year.

A University of Liverpool spokesman said: “We take cases of plagiarism and examination misconduct very seriously and take action against students who breach the regulations".

“The university provides advice and training for staff on how to detect and deal with academic misconduct, as well as how to support students in developing good academic skills and avoiding plagiarism.

“Every student is issued with a handbook that outlines codes of conduct and how to access support services on campus.”

These revelations come after reports on how Liverpool Hope University had doled out community service-style punishment to misbehaving students.

There were 27 students made to do unpaid work – ranging from 15 to 40 hours – between May 2013 and this year.

These penalties were given out for offences ranging from urinating in public, damaging a car, being abusive to security staff, causing damage, being drunk and sneaking unauthorised guests onto university property.