The Perceptions of Higher Education Students on Contract Cheating and Educational Corruption in South East Europe

  • Thomas Lancaster Imperial College London
  • Irene Glendinning Coventry University
  • Tomáš Foltýnek Mendel University in Brno
  • Dita Dlabolová Mendel University in Brno
  • Dana Linkeschová Brno University of Technology
Keywords: contract cheating, academic integrity, academic misconduct, plagiarism, ghostwriting


This paper discusses research on contract cheating undertaken with students across six countries in South East Europe. The research was conducted as part of the South East European Project on Policies for Academic Integrity (SEEPPAI) and supported by a grant from the Council of Europe. Thirteen focus groups were held in which students discussed their experiences with contract cheating and wider issues of educational corruption. The trends identified showed that students knew how to gain contract cheating assistance in both coursework and examinations. Some students were themselves working as academic ghostwriters. Despite pockets of good practice being evident, there was the suggestion of a wider culture of corruption, with claims that some teaching staff were willing to take financial incentives to guarantee grades to students.The findings demonstrate that contract cheating represents a threat to academic integrity in countries where this had not previously been documented.