Indians make up highest number of international students plagiarising UCAS forms in UK | India News – Times of India

LONDON: The number of students caught plagiarising personal statements on their undergraduate applications to British universities has doubled in the past two years, with the highest number outside the UK coming from India.
There were 7,300 applications flagged for plagiarism in 2023 and 3,559 flagged in 2021; 765 of the 7,300 in 2023 were submitted by applicants from India, a spokesperson for Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) said.
The country of origin where plagiarism of personal statements is highest, outside the UK, is India, followed by Nigeria, Romania and China. according to UCAS.
Manchester Metropolitan University (MMU), the University of Greenwich and Birmingham City University had the highest number of applicants flagged for plagiarism.
UCAS chief executive (interim) Sander Kristel said: “The personal statement is exactly that; personal. Applicants need to advocate for themselves, in their own words…UCAS’ fraud and verification service reviews each personal statement for similarities, and where it detects a similarity this is flagged. We have made it very clear that generating all or a large part of your personal statement from an AI tool such as ChatGPT, and presenting it as your own words, could be considered cheating.”
TOI spoke to a recent Indian undergraduate student at MMU who said: “Some Indians share personal statements, so someone gets accepted on a course, then shares that statement with Indians in India applying for the same course, and then they adapt it slightly and use it to get in. No one I know who did this was rejected. I think they do it because of a lack of confidence as they are not sure how to write them. Some agents in India offer help with personal statements for a fee. There are also companies in India and the UK that you can pay to write your assignments for you.”
An Indian postgraduate student told TOI: “There are tonnes of organisations in India and China called education consultants who help students write their own personal statements.”
TOI has seen scores of adverts on social media from companies offering to do research papers, essays, dissertations, even “maths, physics and chemistry” for a fee, with WhatsApp numbers in the UK and India.
Sanam Arora, founder and chair, NISAU UK, said: “At NISAU we have been warning students against using such unscrupulous assignment helpers for many years. There is a whole shady ecosystem and that is why I want the migration advisory committee, which is reviewing the graduate route, to ensure it reviews the arrangements universities have with agents and the whole business of how UK education is sold abroad.”

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