Friday, 22 October 2010

Blagging for A Doctorate

Overnight I had an interesting offer. Sometime ago, I had signed up to undertake editing work with a particular agency and had had no offers of anything, until this morning. The 'editing' offered was to undertake a doctoral thesis in its totality on a specified subject and to deliver it by April 2011. The fee offered was £2,000. So, for £2,000, prospective Dr X buys a high academic qualification and I am asked to be an accessory to this cheating and, for what it matters, a cheap accessory at that. Looking into the subject of academic cheating assistance, the internet is rife with crooks hiding behind fancy academic-sounding names and openly offering theses and 'model answers' for cash. Why is nothing done about it? Surely, it is a serious threat to the fabric of society? What happens if, say, medical and architectural qualifications come to be 'awarded' on the basis of cheating, by people who are incompetents? It does not bear thinking about. In an age in which small details of daily life are highly (and, arguably, over) regulated, it utterly beggars belief that the prosecuting authorities overlook this tawdry racket and that academia is too limp-wristed to stamp it out. It is bad enough that students no longer have to memorize anything, even the basics of their subject, and are allowed to turn in work that is seldom done in true examination conditions but I suppose that it is all a consequence of there being so many so-called 'universities' and the notion that just about anyone can be a graduate.


  1. The ACPO E Crime strategy report 2009 may interest you; of course, computer crime is regularly prosecuted and so are these career fraudsters; however, a prosecution derives its life from the police investigation. Additionally, computer crime often cuts across national boundaries and so deserves an international response. Serious organised crime in this country tends to get that collaborative input and the police investigation of computer crime is growing apace.

    It is very interesting though to read your views on fake professionals such as doctors and academics; you know very well i think that fake degrees (purchased by career fraudsters) have been around us for a long long time.

    And you know NS a lot of the market for fake doctors and fake qualifications is fuelled by poverty and ignorance. Look for example at late nineteenth century early twentieth on this generalised practice; its there for example in Hardy's Jude the Obscure (Jude's first wife purchases potions from the village quack because she is both ignorant and rather badly off). It seems to me that prior to universal free medical treatment, quacks were in good supply because poor people needed to find some hope for their ills and also for their vanities perhaps. It happened regularly didnt it; in fairs held at such ancient places as Smithfield for example.

    Education? En masse? Is it a good thing or a bad thing. Before the Education Acts the wealthy were deeply supsicious as to promoting for example reading amongst the poor. What might happen if ordinary people became educated?

    In this country, some of the best lawyers i know in independent practice went to small bit universities; I am thinking of a fine civil rights barrister who attended Ealing college of Education. He succeeded because he was very very engaged with the law in his life. Many oxbridge graduates are clever but not particularly dynamic. The difference is in the class and the elites not in the content or the promise of ordinary students at very ordinary universities.

    Here a degree will now cost a student around £21-30000. Our young people pay dearly it seems to me for the privilege of being educated and we have a duty to support that determination and not to decry their desires nor their levels of learning surely. After all our generation received help with maintenance and fees; this generation doesnt.

    I think that the level of fraud in the education sector will shoot up. With financial hardship and a lack of goverment support more and more fake pieces of paper will be bought; that is the price of elitism and hardship; it results doesnt it, in more and more crime.

    I do agree though that more prosecutions should be expended on the big shakers; too often i feel that the entire business of prosecution is centred almost miserably on the working people; however specialist agencies investigate and prosecute organised crime and you can be sure it is becoming ever more active and expert.

  2. I am not trying to denigrate any educational institutions: maybe one of my points is that it is a real pity that the polytechnics converted themselves into universities and no longer offer courses and back-up courses to encourage skilled trades which are sadly being lost in the UK; although they are alive and well in South America. I am certainly glad that these fraudsters are being dealt with in the criminal courts but the educational establishment needs to toughen up on it too. Don't forget: there is the 'agency'; there are the writers that they bribe to enable cheating and there are the purchasers of the material: all their functions need to be disabled.

  3. Surely, the wanker meant 2k per page?