• Tue. May 21st, 2024

Rise in amount of Oxford University students investigated for cheating


Jul 29, 2022

THE number of students investigated for cheating in their studies has been revealed.

An Oxford Mail investigation shows the number of academic misconduct cases increased during the teaching years 2019/20 and 2020/21. This was when lockdown restrictions and remote teaching protocols were in place.

A freedom of information request to the University on June 7 revealed data showing cases of cheating, malpractice, and plagiarism between 2017 and 2022.

Across the five years there were 266 investigations.

This is broken down annually into academic years which run from September to September.

In 2018/19 there were 35 investigations carried out by the university.

The following year in 2019/20 there were 69 investigations.

In the year 2020/21 there were 77 investigations. Only 27 of the suspected cases were referred to the Proctors Office.

Oxford University said the number of cases is a ‘very small fraction’.

To put it into perspective there were 77 investigations out of 55,000 exams sat.

Eight of the cases were upheld as a breach and 19 were referred to the relevant exam boards.

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The data is also broken down by gender and into department:

  • Humanities department had 20 cases broken down into 7 females and 13 males.
  • Mathematics, Physical and Life Sciences Department had 30 cases including 12 females and 18 males.
  • Medical Sciences Division had 19 cases involving 13 females and six males.
  • For the Continuing Education department there was 50 cases involving 17 females, 17 males and 16 whose gender was not identified.
  • Social Sciences division had 146 cases involving 75 females and 68 males and three whose gender was not identified.

A spokesperson for the University of Oxford said: “In the 2021/22 academic year, the majority of Oxford exams took place in-person.

“The University is committed to the highest standards of assessments, regardless of the format they take.”

The spokesperson added the figures represent a "very small fraction of the 55,000 exams sat".

Read more from this author

This story was written by Sophie Perry. She joined the team in 2021 as a digital reporter.

You can get in touch with her by emailing: sophie.perry@newsquest.co.uk

Follow her on Twitter @itssophieperry

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