EU student makes £15,000 a year writing essays for cheats
Student says lack of financial support has forced her to make money using her academic skills to help cheating students through uni.
Marie*, who is studying a Law degree in Scotland, says she has no other option but to ghostwrite for cheating students to help them pass their degrees due to receiving no financial support either from the UK government or her home country in Europe.
Taking part in this year's National Student Money Survey, she told Save the Student:
I know it is not ethical, but I have no other choice to pay for my own education.
Marie says she spent time saving up to cover her tuition fees before coming to Scotland, but since her home country doesn’t offer support to students studying abroad and she wasn’t eligible for UK funding, she felt she had no choice but to pimp out her brains to struggling students.
Tuition fees are free in Scotland for Scottish students as well as EU citizens, but due to particular circumstances Marie wasn’t eligible in this instance, and therefore had to find a way to fund her degree off her own back.
How she made £15,000
Marie claims that 90% of the students she writes for are non-EU students struggling with even basic English in their coursework. She reveals she’s written at least one Master’s degree from scratch, three PhD theses and numerous essays and presentations over the years.
And the service doesn’t stop there, either. She also says she's employed to write emails on behalf of her clients, participate in online modules, and summarise reading lists into simple language to for struggling non-native students to grasp.
So essentially, everything but actually turning up to class for them!
When I finish my own degree, I will probably have completed at least ten other full degrees at the same time. Others not only have the money to pay for their fees and living expenses, but are also able to afford paying for someone to else to do all the work for them.
Marie says that ghostwriting was the only part-time work option she could find that would fit around her law degree, but admits that despite working “day and night” to meet deadlines of paying students as well as her own, she's "barely scraping through" her own degree.
She also points out that finding and advertising copywriting jobs for students like this is “easy”. She explained:
If you look at Gumtree, you will find many students all offering their ghostwriting services, and many agencies looking for freelance writers… agencies scoop off quite a bit of the profits, but beggars can’t be choosers.
University as a business
Marie clarifies that she's fully aware of the ethical issues involved, but claims she has no regrets about the service she provides. It's the students hiring her who are the ones submitting her work as their own and therefore “they are the ones committing academic deceit,” she insists.
She’s also keen for her story to be understood as a direct result of a much bigger issue. “It is important that more people are aware of what is going on here,” Marie says:
Due to the high University fees, the enrolment and even the awarding of degrees from Universities is a business, and businesses only focus on money. University is increasingly becoming a business in which the people who have a lot of money can just purchase their degrees, and the people who have the intelligence and talent fight for sheer survival.
According to what you told us in our National Student Money Survey this year, 8 of 10 students worry about making ends meet financially whilst at uni.
Tuition fees in England are set to rise above the £9,000 a year cap in 2017. Find out everything you need to know and how it will affect you.
What are your thoughts on Marie’s story? Have you ever written course work for a fellow student to make some hard cash? We want to hear from you!
*Name has been changed.