Westminster Higher Education Forum

Next steps for tackling contract cheating in higher education - prevention, detection, disruption and legislative options

Morning, Wednesday, 22nd May 2019

Central London


This seminar will consider the next steps for tackling contract cheating in higher education, examining the role of universities, students, regulators and legislators in the process.

Delegates will discuss the merits of various approaches used by universities for preventing contract cheating, looking at addressing the motives which drive students to pay for essays, improving academic support for students and strategies for embedding good practice. Those attending will also assess the effectiveness of tailored assessment design through the setting of assignments which are harder to reproduce in a standard format by essay mills and disrupting online advertising, particularly on social media platforms.

Attendees will also discuss measures aimed at detecting malpractice, considering the effectiveness of technological solutions involving textual analyses of writing styles, encouraging active online searching and teacher vigilance.

With 46 university leaders calling on the Secretary of State for Education for a legislative ban on essay-writing companies, further sessions will assess how far current fraud legislation and advertising regulations can be used to curb the activities of essay mills. Delegates will draw on lessons from international comparisons to consider how new legislation might work to curb essay mill activity, addressing the challenge of creating legislation that is comprehensive and deals with jurisdictional issues but does not threaten legitimate study aids, tutoring and proofreading services.

Supported by

Keynote Speakers

Miles Lockwood

Director of Complaints and Investigations, Advertising Standards Authority

Gareth Crossman

Head of Policy and Public Affairs, QAA


Lord Storey

Liberal Democrat Lords Spokesperson (Education)


Professor Julia Buckingham

Vice-Chancellor and President, Brunel University London

Professor Dominic Medway

Deputy Pro-Vice-Chancellor, Faculty of Business and Law, Manchester Metropolitan University

Professor Cath Ellis

Associate Dean (Education), University of New South Wales

Anna McKie

Reporter, Times Higher Education

Dr Thomas Lancaster

Senior Teaching Fellow (Student Support), Imperial College London

Dr Rachel Maxwell

Head of Learning and Teaching Development, University of Northampton

Dr Deborah Rafalin

Chair of Academic Misconduct, School of Arts and Social Sciences and Learning Development Fellow, Learning Enhancement and Development Directorate, City, University of London

Bill Loller

Vice President, Product Management, Turnitin

Senior speaker confirmed from Quality and Qualifications Ireland

Professor Michael Draper

Professor, Hillary Rodham Clinton School of Law and Chair, University Regulations and Student Cases Board, Swansea University

Christopher Coyle

Barrister, Piccadilly Chambers

Daniel Dennehy

Chief Operations Officer, UK Essays

Kiran Chauhan

Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Proofread My Essay