Half of Cambridge students admit cheating

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The Independent Online

Nearly half of Cambridge University students cheat, according to a survey.

The Varsity student newspaper said 49 per cent of undergraduates claimed other people's work as their own while studying at the world famous institution.

The anonymous online poll of more than 1,000 students found those studying law were most likely to plagiarise, with 62 per cent saying they had broken university rules.

Despite the high number of incidents, the survey showed 80 per cent of students felt punishments meted out by the university were sufficient.

But just 5 per cent said they had been caught plagiarising.

"It is a depressing set of statistics," Robert Foley, a Professor in Biological Anthropology at King's College, told Varsity.

According to the survey, 82 per cent of essay plagiarists used internet site Wikipedia as their source.

One student, speaking anonymously to Varsity, said: "Sometimes, when I am really fed up, I Google the essay title, copy and throw everything on to a blank word document and jiggle the order a bit. They usually end up being the best essays."

The university was unavailable for comment.

But a spokesman told Varsity it regarded plagiarism as a "serious and potentially disciplinary offence which can lead to failure to obtain, or withdrawal of a degree".

He said the university was planning to introduce detection software to crack down on the problem.