UCC confirms investigation is underway into allegations of cheating

The Cork university says it is involved in an "on-going process with a small number of students"

UCC confirms investigation is underway into allegations of cheating

Image: Facebook/University College Cork

A number final year students at University College Cork (UCC) are reported to have had their results withheld amid allegations of cheating.

The Irish Times reports students from the business information systems course allegedly outsourced parts of a final year project.

As many as 14 students may have been involved in presenting work that was not their own, as part of a project involving coding.

It is understood a number of students have been cleared of plagiarism, while investigations are ongoing into a 'small number' of others.

In a statement, UCC confirmed that there is an "on-going process with a small number of students regarding possible breach of its examination procedures".

The statement notes: "The University takes the integrity of the examining process very seriously and has policies and procedures to protect the quality of this process.

"Where a potential breach of examining conduct arises, as in this case, this is investigated fully in line with University policy."

Internal investigation

The Irish Times education editor Carl O'Brien spoke to The Pat Kenny Show with more details of the story.

He explained: "We understand from sources that an internal investigation at UCC was prompted by a student at the college who alleged that up to 14 students may have been involved in presenting other individuals' work as their own.

"It seems that a fellow student was a whistleblower, who alerted senior staff within the university, which triggered this series of events."

UCC says the process of investigating on the allegations is ongoing.

Carl told Pat that, in such cases, students found to be in the wrong can face serious consequences.

He said: "It could be that they don't graduate. It may mean they have to repeat their exams. It could, at the higher end, mean exclusion from the university - even on a permanent basis.

"I think what this does, is it puts into sharp focus this wider issue, facing all colleges, of tackling allegations or evidence of plagiarism - especially what's called 'contract cheating'."

He added: "There are many individuals and commercial organisations who are willing to provide written to order essays, dissertations, projects for students... These organisations insist that they do not condone cheating, but they do provide work 'on demand' for a fee - and this is very difficult to detect."