Are international students being allowed to get away with lower quality dissertations in MBA courses in the UK in order to ensure they stay on and remain sources of funding for the cash strapped universities?
According to a BBC Wales report, a lecturer has claimed that tutors are under pressure to accept substandard work from overseas students, particularly those who struggle with English, for reasons related to funding.
In an anonymous interview, the unnamed lecturer was quoted as saying: "What we're finding is that we can't teach the students because their English language ability is so low. Typically exams are dropped from MBAs because frankly students with English language problems find it very, very difficult to pass examinations. So who writes that coursework?"
International students pay as much as three times the fees to enroll at a university in the UK. They also generate around 30% income for these universities.
Even though universities have high quality plagiarism detection softwares, it is hard to find out whether the students are writing the coursework and dissertations themselves.
According to the BBC article, some universities like Cardiff, Aberystwyth, Swansea and the University of Wales, Trinity St David have agreed to let them see the dissertations of MBA students.
In Bangor University, which had all its masters dissertations on public display, the report found there were multiple dissertation titles with basic grammatical errors, including one which read 'The state of online shopping compare with traditional shopping'.
Given the financial crunch most UK universities find themselves in, ensuring quality has become a Catch 22 situation. On one side there is the academic standard universities need to maintain and on the other, there's the 5 billion pounds that the foreign students bring in to the wider economy.
Read the full BBC report here.