October 27, 2020

Subcontracting the approved – The Province


Only 140 euros are needed for a specialized company to do a final job for a university subject. The picaresque has caused entrepreneurs to discover a market niche among desperate students who do not feel like studying. But just as young people access these platforms, so has a professor at the University of La Laguna, who has not hesitated to pose as one of his pupils to discover all the details of these services that, although they can Bringing many short-term benefits can also ruin a career.

An approved in exchange for 140 euros. Perhaps more than a university student would consider making that payment in exchange for free time and quality work to present to their teacher. That is what some entrepreneurs must have thought about who have not hesitated to create companies that now offer to do work for students at a small price. The problem is that teachers have already discovered the trap and now it will be difficult to fool teachers.

The Professor of Equity and Education of the University of La Laguna (ULL), José Saturnino Martínez, discovered the websites of these companies by chance a few months ago and now warns of the problems that these services can bring, both for students and for the teachers. First of all, he warns that these companies do not offer copies of works: “This is another level because they do not appropriate the work of another, but they make a totally new and personalized one for the client. It is rather a subcontracting of the approved one”.

These are “quite professionalized” services, indicates the teacher, who relates that he himself posed as a student to request a quote: “They asked for a lot of information to carry out the work and thus be able to do it in the most professional manner possible. They wanted to know the subject, how many pages the work had to have, how much bibliography it had to have … It was as detailed information as what I could give to my students “. And precisely that is the biggest problem that teachers now face.

These web pages offer services from 140 euros for a final project of a subject; an end-of-degree project costs around 300 euros in the case of a Pedagogy degree at the University of La Laguna, although it depends on the degree and the university; and a final master’s degree in Journalism for a Madrid university has a price of around 700 euros. These are companies that have staff of up to 300 employees.

“The only way that teachers now have to ensure that these faults are not committed is to carry out a total supervision of the work in order to assess the student’s progress, but that requires time that teachers do not have”, acknowledges Martínez, who recalls that “The university sets about six hours per student and that is clearly insufficient to do all that monitoring.”

However, he says that teachers like him, who do not have a large number of students, can carry out a more detailed control. “You can never be completely clear that a student has gone to this type of service, but you can know which students are trying to escape from these tasks.” In fact, Martínez acknowledges that he has already faced a case of this nature because it is impossible for certain people, so young, to do such mature work, and without having had any supervision from the teacher.

“It is unpleasant not to accept a person’s work because you know that it has not been honest,” says Martínez, who recalls that “education, as a social process, is based on good faith and the moment I stop being an educator to become in police the whole system is perverted because I cannot be suspicious of the students all the time. For me, the work is much more unpleasant, it is more difficult and I have to put more mental energy to catch the cheats than to see how I develop more tools to motivate and for people to develop. ” “What was once a gray thing that we all sensed existed has now become the business of transparent companies that perform legal work,” says the Lagunero teacher, who recalls that these are “new jobs, which are not copies of others”.

For all this, José Saturnino Martínez warns: “Students must be careful because teachers have tools that allow us to check if there is plagiarism in a job.” However, he acknowledges that “the most direct supervision requires time and mastery of the subjects that do not currently exist” and that is why he regrets recognizing that “it is cheap for the student if they catch it because the only thing that happens to it is that it will appear as not presented in that call but may be re-examined in the future “.

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