Turkish universities hit by forgery in ‘theses supply chain’
ISTANBULThe “thesis writing sector” in Turkey is expanding, as a large number of undergraduate, masters and PhD students in the country pay to have their theses written by others, daily Habertürk reported on March 23.
The price for having someone write a thesis reportedly ranges between 3,000 and 20,000 Turkish Liras, and the number of forgeries is thought to be on the rise because of the increasing number of private universities in Turkey. The actual size of the sector remains unknown due to its illegality.
Centers of the “theses business” are thought to be stationary and photocopy places, especially around private universities, but the sector also functions online.
Habertürk contacted three websites among hundreds said to be “providing thesis writing services and assignment and project preparation.” All three websites reportedly replied to the demands within an hour and presented themselves as “thesis consultancy companies.”
Refusing to meet face-to-face, the ghost thesis writers said they could only meet once the whole process is over “if necessary.”
When the Habertürk reporter said they wanted an 80-page master’s thesis on the Turkish media, the “thesis consultant” said they have a special team including academics and a database on the issue. They added that they will “call to discuss the details after checking the database.”
All three websites contacted said the requested thesis can be completed in around two months, for an average price of 40 liras per page. Once prices were offered, the reported started to receive text messages on discounts.
When the owners of another website contacted were told that the price was high, the owners replied by saying they would produce an invoice for providing “thesis consultancy,” thus no discounts were possible.
The price of the theses is increased if it includes surveys, translations, and usage of foreign language resources, while it also ranges according to the delivery duration. The price of theses for social studies is generally lower than the price quantitative departments, while the most expensive theses are those in medical areas due to the difficulty of writing them.
Academics have been complaining about the issue, while the deputy dean of a private university was quoted in the report as saying that “everyone is aware of the forgery, but no one is able to change it.”
“This has become a sector in and of itself. As academics and universities, we are aware of the situation but we are unable to do anything about it. Everyone complains about the low quality of education, but no one looks at the graduates resulting from this low quality. Everyone just says, ‘The student should finish and leave.’ Then they go on to become doctors, lawyers, etc. The results are clear,” the deputy dean said.