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Edinburgh University Invested in Online Tutoring Service That Helped Students Cheat: Report

File photo of University of Edinburgh. (Credit: twitter)

File photo of University of Edinburgh. (Credit: twitter)

The university has reportedly invested around £865,000 (Rs 8,35,79,102 INR) in an online tutoring platform which has been accused of helping students cheat during exams. The same was revealed from the University’s annual investment log from last year.

The University of Edinburgh has gotten itself into a controversy after reports said the premier institute has tied up with a platform infamous for shady activities.

The university has reportedly invested around £865,000 (Rs 8,35,79,102 INR) in an online tutoring platform which has been accused of helping students cheat during exams. The same was revealed from the University’s annual investment log from last year and a student group on Facebook made it public. The homework assist service to receive the sum is named Chegg Inc.

The platform charges students £11.60-a-month (Rs 1,120 INR). Some have alleged that it enables students to cheat during remote exams by posing questions to its online experts while they are taking tests.

Though officially, the platform requires students to send photos of their homework which go to the experts in their service. Then the experts can help the students online. Some say it is easy to cheat as a student can actually upload their exam questions and get answers from experts in real-time. Of course, this applies only to at-home or remote exams.

According to Dailymail, the post came from the Facebook group called Edifess. It is a confession group for the University of Edinburgh’s students. The post claimed the website helps students can pay tutors to get answers for coursework and exams.

The reveal was met with disapproval on social media. People asked whether this is something worthy of UoE investment portfolio. However, a Chegg spokesperson denied any wrongdoing.

He said their materials, which include rental textbooks, revision aids, online tutoring etc are only there to support the learning process. He claimed that Chegg is an invaluable resource for students, especially during the pandemic.

Allegations of cheating are nothing new. Chegg has responded to these allegations by claiming that they’re committed to academic integrity and their platform is intended for honest use.

“However, we take extremely seriously any attempts to cheat by a tiny fraction of users,” they said.

In April 2020, University of Boston investigation cheating by students using this platform for Physics and Chemistry exams. In another instance, some 200 students from a statistics class in North Carolina State University were consulted for disciplinary action for using “Tutor provided solutions” in their exam.

Nearly 3.9 million subscribers used Chegg as of 2019 report.


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