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Norwich, UK

Electronics

Universities suffer surge in hi‑tech cheating

The number of university students using electronic devices to cheat in exams has gone up by more than a third in the past four years, new figures show.

Results from a freedom of information request revealed a 42 per cent rise in cheating involving mobile phones, smart watches and hidden earpieces — up from 148 in 2012 to 210 in 2016.

Last year, a quarter of all students caught cheating used electronic devices, according to The Guardian. The true extent of the problem is expected to be much higher.

At Queen Mary University of London two thirds of the 54 students caught cheating last year used electronic devices. At Newcastle University there were 91 reported cases of cheating, 43 per cent of which involved technology, and 19 students were caught cheating at the University of Surrey, 12 of them with devices.

Comparable data was obtained from 41 of the 154 universities in the UK. In many cases there was no information on the technology used but mobile phones were the most popular device.

At least 17 students were caught cheating with smart watches over the period examined, and cases of students using hidden earpieces or miniature cameras were reported at multiple universities.

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