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Proposed ban on essay mills in England - a welcome move in tackling contract cheating

Date: October 6 - 2021

QAA welcomes the commitment of the UK Government to criminalise essay mills. Since 2017, we have campaigned to ban these unscrupulous outfits that threaten the integrity of UK higher education and prey on vulnerable students. We have worked in collaboration with governments, agencies, institutions and students across the UK higher education sector and internationally to raise awareness of the dangers essay mills pose.

Criminalisation is a significant step, but with well over 1000 essay mills in operation, further work is needed to drive these companies out of business and uphold the integrity and reputation of UK higher education. We hope that all UK Governments will now work in collaboration to ensure that essay mills are banned across all four nations.

This is a complex issue, and legislation alone will not defeat essay mills. QAA regularly produces guidance for institutions to support them in taking action to protect academic integrity. Many of these publications are available on QAA’s Academic Integrity site.

Earlier this year, in collaboration with the UK Academic Integrity Advisory Group, we also launched an Academic Integrity Charter. To date, 176 higher education institutions have signed up to the Charter, demonstrating their commitment to protecting academic integrity.