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Last Updated: Thursday, 27 May, 2004, 11:14 GMT 12:14 UK
'Plagiarist' to sue university
computer keyboard
The student claims the university was negligent
A student who admits down-loading material from the internet for his degree plans to sue his university for negligence.

Michael Gunn claims his university should have warned him his actions were against the regulations.

The Times Higher Education Supplement reports that he was told on the eve of his final exams that he would get no marks for his course work.

The University of Kent at Canterbury says students are warned about plagiarism.

Michael Gunn, a 21-year-old English student, told the Times Higher: "I hold my hands up. I did plagiarise. I never dreamt it was a problem.

"I can see there is evidence I have gone against the rules, but they have taken all my money for three years and pulled me up the day before I finished.

"If they had pulled me up with my first essay at the beginning and warned me of the problems and consequences, it would be fair enough.

"But all my essays were handed back with good marks and no one spotted it."

'Clear guidelines'

David Nightingale, the deputy vice-chancellor of Kent University said he would not comment on individual cases because the external examiners' meeting for the School of English would take place next week, when exam entries would be considered.

But he said: "I would stress that throughout their time at Kent, all students are given clear guidelines as well as practical advice and support as to what constitutes plagiarism. These spell it out that it is not acceptable under any circumstances.

"For example, in the School of English this information is provided in the faculty handbook and in the department's own handbook, both of which are issued to all students.

"All students are also encouraged to attend the regular workshops on study-skills run by the university which also provides on-line advice."

The University is running a pilot scheme which uses plagiarism detection software to analyse student work.

This will be used across the university this summer.

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13 Nov 03  |  Education
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07 Feb 03  |  UK News
Net closes on essay cheats
10 Jan 03  |  Education

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