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Cheating Spaniards bluff way through university

Alex Dunham
Alex Dunham - [email protected]
Cheating Spaniards bluff way through university
Almost half of all students surveyed owned up to cheating in exams and 60 percent said they'd plagiarized somebody else's work. File Photo:Universidad de Navarra/Flickr

Experts are pointing to an increase in cheating and plagiarism at Spanish universities as students are wising up to new ways of using technology in order to not get caught.

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Almost half of all students surveyed owned up to cheating in exams and 60 percent said they'd plagiarized somebody else's work.

These alarming results are part of a study carried out by Jaume Sureda, teaching researcher at the University of the Balearic Islands.

"There’s a permissive attitude in Spain towards cheats," Sureda told The Local.

"That, added to unclear punitive regulations and an evaluation system that needs revising, are the main reasons why copying and plagiarism are so prevalent."

New technologies are replacing the old writing on the arm or scrap of paper, with the majority of offending students using their mobiles’ Wi-Fi or instant messaging services to obtain the information they need.

Universities are fighting back however, as is the case with Valencia's Medical and Dentistry faculty, where complaints about students using ear pieces to cheat have led officials to install frequency blockers.

"Spaniards are no more corrupt than other Europeans, at least on an academic level," Sureda told The Local.

Sureda also argued that copy paste culture at Spanish universities has experienced an upsurge in recent years probably as a result of widespread internet use and the revision of Spanish university evaluations under the Bologna Process.

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