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Higher Education and Research Bill - Committee (6th Day)

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 9:30 pm on 25th January 2017.

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Photo of Baroness Deech Baroness Deech Crossbench 9:30 pm, 25th January 2017

Has the noble Baroness brought her mind to bear on whether the students who solicited the cheating essay would also be caught up in the criminal offence? This is not really my area of law, but I suspect that conspiracy to commit a criminal offence might catch those students.

As has been said—and as I know from my experience as the independent adjudicator for higher education—many foreign students, some for quite innocent reasons, get caught up in this. Part of the cure is to have better orientation for foreign students to explain to them what is expected. This applies in particular to Chinese students. I am painting this with a broad brush, but apparently they are told from the age of five onwards that one should collaborate rather than compete, and that one should listen to every word the venerable professor says and repeat it in exams, which is not the way we do things. They are therefore innocent in their own minds, so we need to clarify this amendment and ensure that foreign students know what is expected of them.