Meet congolese man who helps students to cheat
Marek Jezek is the pseudonym he's currently using, but there have been many others. He's bright, hard-working, and loves learning - loves the intellectual challenge of taking on a new subject. And there have been many.
"Philosophy, psychology, nursing, education, physics," he lists, counting them off on his fingers, "criminology, hospitality management, ethics, management."
The marks are all first-class, and there's a long list of the universities where the work was submitted.
A dissertation is supposed to be the culmination of years of study for students - the piece of original research and extended writing where a student demonstrates their understanding and expertise in their subject.
Not if someone like Jezek has written it for you.
He's a freelance writer, a pen for hire, in an industry which appears to be growing rapidly. Commercial essay writing firms are becoming increasingly blatant in their appeals to students.
On the London Underground network last month, one firm placed paid-for posters at stations close to universities. "Need help with essay?" they asked, claiming to be "trusted by 10,000+ students".
When I contacted Transport for London (TFL), the underground operator, and pointed out the nature of the service the firm was advertising, TFL said they hadn't realised and would take down the posters and not accept any more.
Last week another company was distributing handy credit-card style adverts to students on the campus at Queen Mary University London, claiming to be "the original and best academic writing service - helping you get the grades you desire".
One website allows students to post their essay assignments and deadlines on it, and writers bid to do the work for them.
Universities seem to be struggling to catch up. The big concern is that bespoke essays, written to order, without being plagiarised themselves, are difficult if not impossible to detect.
Almost all universities use anti-plagiarism software, called Turnitin, which checks a submitted essay against published sources, looking for copied phrases. But this software will not raise suspicions about an original essay produced by a professional writer.
Prices from commercial firms range from about £150 for a bit of coursework, to thousands of pounds for a dissertation.
Marek Jezek charges about £2,500 for a dissertation. He says he has a particular motive for the work he does - revenge.
He has an MBA and a PhD from a leading British University, and says he has applied for more than 300 jobs as a lecturer or researcher, but has got nowhere. He believes he's a victim of racial discrimination.
Jezek is originally from DR Congo, and describes a network of black academics from African backgrounds that are unable to find work in universities.
"In a sense it's an emotional retribution for a wrong that's been done to me," he says, "For me it is a way of satisfying myself and satisfying my ego, because I'm feeling rejected unfairly. I get a bit of emotional satisfaction when a student gives me a call and tells me he got 70% or 80% for the work I did."
Jezek gets his work through word of mouth among students. But he also says some universities are unwittingly collaborating by referring struggling students to him for private coaching in essay writing skills.
"The student sends you a piece of work to appraise, but in most cases once you've sent the first set of comments, the second or third, the student just throws in the towel."