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Half of Cambridge students admit 'cheating'

A survey has revealed that almost one in two or 49 per cent of Cambridge students have plagiarised work although this differed radically between subjects and colleges, according to a report in the 'Varsity' newspaper.

world Updated: Oct 31, 2008 14:02 IST

Believe it or not, nearly half of the students at Cambridge University "cheat".

A survey has revealed that almost one in two or 49 per cent of Cambridge students have plagiarised work although this differed radically between subjects and colleges, according to a report in the 'Varsity' newspaper.

Ironically, law students plagiarised the most of any subject, with 62 per cent of them admitting to breaking the university rules. The second highest was the archaeology and anthropology department with 59 per cent.

And, at St Edmunds College, 67 per cent of students admitted to breaking the university rules.

"It's a depressing set of statistics," Robert Foley, a Professor in Biological Anthropology at King's College London, was quoted by the university's student newspaper as saying.

Interestingly, only five per cent of students who took part in the survey said they had been caught plagiarising while 80 per cent said they thought the university already did enough to punish it.

Many students blamed their intense work load for cutting corners, while others said they did not understand the university's definition of plagiarism and were surprised to know they had broken the rules.

"Sometimes when I'm really fed up, I Google the essay title, copy and throw everything on to a blank word document and jiggle to order a bit. They usually end up being the best essays," said a Land Economy student at Pembroke College.