University students in Europe, US paying Kenyans to do their academic work for them


University students in Europe, US paying Kenyans to do their academic work for them
PICTURE/COURTESY

In Summary

  • Critics have described the venture as unethical terming it as ''cheating'' but there is no law in the country that prevents ghost writing.
  • The global market for academic writing is estimated to be worth $1 billion (Ksh. 100 billion) annually.

It has now emerged that university students in the United Kingdom(UK) and the United States(USA) are looking upto Africa and particularly Kenya, for ghost writers to get their projects and assignments done.

In a report by BBC, this has now grown into a $1 billion industry (Ksh. 100 billion) that Kenyans have tapped into, to make a living.

”About one in seven graduates have paid someone else to do their work,” continued the report, showing just how lucrative the industry has become.

According to Vanessa, one of the writers, the venture is ”a very symbiotic kind of relationship”. She further defined it as “the students are lazy but have the money” while for her, she is willing to work for the money thus making it a fair trade.

“They dont attend their classes at all, especially the online ones. They just leave their tasks to someone else who needs the money,” said Vanessa.

” It pays well more than any other job I can imagine… I can sit in my house and do academic writing and get Ksh.50,000 or Ksh.60,000,” she added.

Another writer, John, said that this has been the only option for them to make money attributing it to the rise in unemployment levels in the country.

John has a degree in engineering but has not been able to secure a job in his field of study and academic writing has become his full time job.

“There are people who are building houses through academic writing. People have multiple accounts and each of those accounts gives them a minimum of $200 (about Ksh. 20,000) every two weeks,” he says.

It has proven to be a very lucrative opportunity especially for him since he writes for Masters and PhD students.

“This writing makes a minimum of $25 (about Ksh. 2500) per page and that rate could go up to between $30(about Ksh. 3000) and $50(about Ksh. 5000) per page,” said John.

Ghost writing has become a full time job for many who say that it makes more sense to stay at home and make money rather than go for employment where you are likely to make only half of what academic writing offers..

Critics have described the venture as unethical terming it as ”cheating” but there is no law in the country that prevents ghost writing.

The global market for academic writing is estimated to be worth $1 billion (Ksh. 100 billion) annually.

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Story By Duncan Mutwiri
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