Damian Hinds said that the cash transfer website is “one of the main methods” used by university students to pay “unscrupulous” companies to write coursework, essays and dissertations on their behalf. The Telegraph reports.
Google and YouTube have already removed hundreds of adverts and promotions for essay–writing companies, following requests from ministers.
Mr Hinds said “Sadly there have always been some people who opt for the easy way and the internet has seen a black market in essay writing services spring up,” he said.
“It is simply unethical for these companies to profit from this dishonest business which is exploiting young people and it is time to stamp them out of our world-class higher education sector.”
In 2016, the Quality Assurance Agency (QAA) found approximately 17,000 instances of academic offences per year in the UK. However, the number of students using essay writing services is thought to be much higher as plagiarised essays often go undetected.
Douglas Blackstock, chief executive of the QAA, said: “Companies that try to entice students to buy so-called plagiarism free essays pose a real threat to the academic integrity of our higher education.
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