Higher Education Cheating Services Prohibition Bill [HL] - Second Reading

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 2:47 pm on 25th June 2021.

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Photo of Baroness Gardner of Parkes Baroness Gardner of Parkes Conservative 2:47 pm, 25th June 2021

My Lords, I commend this Bill for its intent to stop third parties from completing someone else’s higher education assessments for a fee, or even advertising their services to do so, and thereby preventing students seeking out such services. They are the equivalent to a drugs cheat winning the Olympics and are grossly unfair on other pupils. I have three areas on which I would appreciate the Minister’s comments.

First, is there sufficient clarity as to what is a higher education establishment? This is not defined in the Bill, nor is it clear in what other legislation it may be defined.

Secondly, why does the Bill not cover A-level students, who often have dissertations to write as part of their courses and may be tempted to use such services?

Thirdly, we have heard many stories, particularly in lockdown, of family members or friends doing a student’s work, which is then passed off as that student’s work. Why does the Bill not cover the provision of such services, even if unpaid, as surely the intent is to ensure that the students do their own work and do not use another person to do this?