Capetown Student Accomodation

What Do I Do If I Know Someone is Cheating at University?

Being at university is exciting, stimulating…and can be incredibly overwhelming and scary. Especially so when you are doing the best that you can, only to find out that someone else is cheating!

The probability that someone is cheating on one subject or another is very high. No matter where you attend university, this happens. In fact, one study on the prevalence of cheating tells us that over 60% of students freely admit to cheating!

It may bother you, or you may not be concerned at all. But do you have any obligations if you know someone is cheating at university?

To Tell or Not to Tell

Sadly, over the past couple of years cheating has gained momentum with students finding innovative ways to work the system. Surely we need to address this?

Whatever your thoughts on the subject, there are a few things to consider.

Perhaps it doesn’t phase you when it doesn’t affect you. But what if it has a direct impact on your grade due to a joint project or being graded on a curve?

What would be the outcome if your lecturer failed the class due to certain students cheating yet nobody said anything, even though they knew?

How would it affect your fellow classmates when they see a known cheater thriving?

What happens when a student who achieved their grades through less than honest means is up for the same position as you?

Then it becomes a problem.

Personal feelings aside, deciding whether you are going to report a fellow student for cheating may not be a decision that is up to you to make.

The best thing you can do is investigate your university’s code of conduct with regards to cheating as there may be a negative effect on you for not reporting it.

Know Your Options

If you are unsure of what to do, then see if there is someone that you can speak to anonymously and find out what your options are. If you ask general questions without pointing fingers, you will be able to make an informed decision with the correct information behind you.

(After all, you can end up in an awkward social situation if your name ends up being given out to the person you suspect is cheating at university.)

Cheating is cheating, and if we’re honest, there’s never a good reason to walk this path. You may choose to ignore this behaviour and let Karma do her thing, or you can step in. Whatever your choice, make sure you’ve given it adequate thought and are following the right channels.