Some 40 vice chancellors of UK universities have asked Internet search engine giant Google and YouTube to shut their services to the essay writing companies as well. Additionally, a parliamentary petition is already under way in London to have the essay mills banned from UK’s Internet space.

If this happens, a ripple reaction by other developed countries could render jobless the thousands of youth in Kenya engaged in the business valued at $1 billion globally, according to Forbes. PayPal has acknowledged it is a global problem that requires a global solution.

ACADEMIC CHEATING

“This is a business that operates across national borders so there will need to be an international response,” said PayPal.

Universities in Kenya prohibit academic cheating but there is no law preventing Kenyans from engaging in the practice for students in other countries. As a result, Kenya has been listed by the UK as the leading black market for academic cheating by its students.

According to the British media, doctorate candidates pay £2,000 (Sh264,000) to £6,000 (Sh790,000) for dissertations.

UNEMPLOYMENT

“Kenya is the hotbed where the writing happens. There is high unemployment and a job working from home is coveted. They have good English and low overheads,” Dr Thomas Lancaster, a senior fellow at Imperial College, London, was quoted by the British press as saying.

On Tuesday, a Nation expose showed that the practice has also crept into the Kenyan education system where students pay to have their master’s and PhD dissertations done at a fee.

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