Online giants like Paypal urged to stop facilitating essay mills
ONLINE giants like PayPal must stop enabling the "unethical" practices of essay mills which exploit young people, the UK education secretary has said.
Damian Hinds has launched a series of measures to "beat the cheats" using essay writing services at universities, saying he has not ruled out making them illegal.
He has challenged online payment platform PayPal to stop processing transactions as part of a drive to preserve and champion the quality of the higher education system.
"Sadly there have always been some people who opt for the easy way and the internet has seen a black market in essay writing services spring up," he said.
"However, no matter how easy it is to access these services now, it doesn't change the fact that this is cheating, and students must understand it is unacceptable.
"It is simply unethical for these companies to profit from this dishonest business which is exploiting young people and it is time to stamp them out of our world-class higher education sector.
"I am determined to beat the cheats who threaten the integrity of our system and am calling on online giants, such as PayPal, to block payments or end the advertisement of these services - it is their moral duty to do so.
"There has been some positive progress made by some in the tech sector, but it is vital that we all unite to clamp down on this practice and the companies that are feeding on it."
A spokesman for PayPal confirmed the company was already reviewing the issue.
Essay mills are illegal in some countries, including New Zealand, Ireland, Australia and some US states.