Contract Cheating – Addressing The Business School Challenge

There are specific challenges for Business Schools looking to identify and address contract cheating. From my previous research, I’ve seen particular demand for students to have assignments produced for them in business related subjects, including finance, marketing and management. I’ve also seen wide availability of writers claiming to be qualified or specialised in these areas.

I gave a remote presentation for staff at the Birmingham Business School (part of the University of Birmingham) to discuss these issues.

You can see the slides I used below (and also on my SlideShare account).


Business is one of the areas where we need more specialised research into contract cheating and the ability to share best practice. There is a lot of demand for Business School qualifications, but students can sometimes be motivated more by the value of the qualification than the associated learning.

We need to consider how to address contract cheating in Business Schools and how we can encourage and support academic integrity.

Advances in Academic Integrity – Presentation from QAA Enhancing Partnerships Pilot

I’m currently a member of the QAA expert group that is creating guidance on academic integrity for the UK higher education sector. The QAA has been doing much excellent work in this area stemming from their previous work on contract cheating.

In order to help to develop and share good practice, they have recently launched a pilot project on academic integrity as part of their enhancing partnerships work. For this project, teams from different UK universities will meet regularly over the course of a year to develop their academic integrity practice.

I presented the keynote at their first meeting, bringing together many of the latest findings and open questions in this field.

The slides I used are available on my SlideShare account. They are also included below.


Academic integrity will continue to offer challenges. During the presentation, I tried to remove the idea that many seem to have that academic integrity just relates to a “battle” where we try to stop students from cheating. The metaphor does not work for me and there are so many more aspects that we have to think about.

I promoted the idea that universities should use their students as part of their academic integrity working group. They, after all, have a vested interest in the results of assessment. I will be following the remaining of the pilot project with interest to see if many of the universities taking part adopted that approach.