The Mancunion

Britain's biggest student newspaper

Women cheat in exams twice as much as men at Manchester

– Student discipline cases up by 70%
– International students make up majority of cases
– Academic Appeals against ‘poor supervision’ up fivefold

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Twice as many women were caught cheating in exams than men, according to a report by the University of Manchester.

The most recent figures from 2005/2006 through to 2010/2011 showed 61 cases of women cheating in exams compared with 30 male cases.

However, the report also showed that four times as many men were caught ‘colluding’, which refers to two or more students working together to unfairly collaborate, copy or pass-on assessed work.

The reports expose that Student Conduct and Discipline cases have risen on the whole by more than 70% since 2005.

One final year student, who did not wish to be named, told The Mancunion, “I’ve used essays by people I know in the year above that did my module. I don’t copy it word for word though.

“A friend of mine studied Chemical Engineering. They went to the toilet in an exam and looked at all these notes they’d written up and down their chest. It’s easier to cheat in those kind of exams.”

Significantly, international students make up the majority of cases, as reported by The Mancunion last year. International students were responsible for over 56% of Student Discipline cases between 2005 and 2011 despite making up just 26% of the student body.

When asked in February to explain the disproportionate cases of international students cheating, Mike Mercer, the Deputy Head of Manchester University’s Student Services Centre said: “I think it is possibly due to parental and financial pressure to do well. Often they are not quite so confident and almost need it as a support.”

Academic Appeals have also dramatically increased, rising from 111 to 284 in the same period.

The 2010-2011 report admitted the rise in Academic Appeals and numbers of academic malpractice cases were of a “particular concern.”

That concern will relate to the submissions based on ‘poor supervision’, which has escalated year on year. In 2005-2006, just 9 appeals in this category were made. By 2010-2011, that number stood at 49.

The cases documented – which go up to 2011 – detail only those formerly dealt with by faculties or the Student Discipline Committee and not the ‘significant’ number dealt informally.

The report stated, “Case loads continue to increase annually, which is cause for concern both in relation to the quality of the underlying student experience and in terms of the administrative cost involved.”

Concern over the disproportionate number of international student cases brought forward was acknowledged in 2010. “Each [report] highlighted the over-representation in the proportion of international and Post-Graduate Taught Students in the total number of misconduct cases – this continues to be a matter of concern.”

The sharp rise in student numbers from 35, 654 in 2006 to 39, 732 in 2011 will go some way to explain the worrying figures, but the escalating Student Discipline cases and Academic Appeals go far beyond relative increase in students at Manchester.

  • I used to cheat by studying and remembering information in my head.