Student boss defends his essays for sale’

PUBLISHED: 11:56 13 April 2006 | UPDATED: 10:01 06 May 2010

Philip Malamatinas

Philip Malamatinas

A YOUNG entrepreneur from Shillington who set up a company selling essays written by Oxford University students has denied his business encourages plagiarism. Geography student Philip Malamatinas, 21, of Marquis Hill, said his company, Oxbridge Essays, ha

A YOUNG entrepreneur from Shillington who set up a company selling essays written by Oxford University students has denied his business encourages plagiarism.

Geography student Philip Malamatinas, 21, of Marquis Hill, said his company, Oxbridge Essays, had been in Oxford over the past few weeks actively recruiting students to write essays for cash.

He said he had received hundreds of inquiries from cash-strapped students after giving out flyers and talking to potential recruits on the city's streets.

Oxbridge Essays, which was officially launched yesterday (Wednesday), provides individually written essays aimed at students from A-level to PhD standard.

A standard 2,000-word undergraduate essay of upper first-class quality delivered in six days would cost £600.

A full undergraduate dissertation could cost as much as £5,400, depending on word length and quality.

The company also offers a next day delivery service.

Mr Malamatinas emphasised the essays were intended as model answers, and were not meant to be handed in as students' own work.

He said: "We make it quite clear that we own the copyright on this work and that people are not able to hand it in as their own. We have a lot of trust in our customers."

But the company's website adds: "Of course, most professors at British universities have large classes and are far too busy to ever check whether your essay has been written by you or not.

"They may even be too swamped to check whether the style of a given essay is really your own. As such, you have a major responsibility to help your professors and teachers by using our model essays responsibly.

"Once Oxbridge Essays has delivered your essay it is entirely up to you what you do with it. We will never know what happens to your essay after it leaves our computers."

Mr Malamatinas, who is a final year student at Birmingham University, said he had invested a "four-figure sum" to set the business up and employed five members of staff.

He said: "It's a fantastic opportunity for writers to earn a large amount of money. They can earn over £1,000 a week if they want to concentrate on research.

"All the responses we have had from Oxford and Cambridge students have been very positive. We have had hundreds of inquiries."

An Oxford University spokesman said: "It's not something that's run by Oxford students, but we understand that the company has been trying to target students in Oxford and Cambridge.

"We are aware of it and we are looking a little bit further into it. We have some initial concerns about students getting involved in anything that might distract them from their studies.

"It appears to encourage and condone plagiarism among students.

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