Skip to main content Accessibility Statement

QAA welcomes ban on essay mills in England

Date: April 28 - 2022

QAA has welcomed the confirmation that essay mills will be banned in England, following the enactment of the Skills and Post-16 Education Act this afternoon. The legislation, which completed its passage through Westminster earlier this month, has now received Royal Assent.

The amendment to ban essay mills was tabled in October last year. It follows years of campaigning by QAA, the UK Academic Integrity Advisory Group and the wider higher education sector. The proposal received cross-party support in both Houses of Parliament including long-term supporters of criminalisation - Liberal Democrat Education Spokesperson, Lord Storey and the former Universities Minister, Chris Skidmore MP. QAA carries out work on academic integrity in its capacity as a membership organisation.

QAA’s Director of Corporate Affairs, Tom Yates said: 'This is an important step forward in the campaign against essay mills. It will mean that universities and colleges can make clear to their students that using an essay mill means engaging with a criminal entity. QAA will continue to work closely with higher education and other institutions, and with the Department for Education to address the threat posed by these unscrupulous businesses.

'We will also continue our discussions with the other UK governments - we hope to see a similar ban applied in the other UK nations in due course. Criminalisation of essay mills is just one part of a broader sector-wide effort to protect and promote the academic integrity of UK higher education, and this work becomes ever more important as technology grows more sophisticated.'

Many of QAA’s existing guidance on academic integrity is available through QAA’s academic integrity web page. QAA also launched an Academic Integrity Charter in 2020. To date, 196 institutions have signed this charter, demonstrating their commitment to upholding and promoting the principles of academic integrity.