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KU crackdown on students’ £100k print scam

By River Reporter Mar 1, 2012

By Isabel Hayman-Brown

University bosses are clamping down on a £100k printing scam involving hundreds of students.

The widespread swindle meant students were able to bypass paying for print-outs which is thought to have cost the university tens of thousands of pounds every year.

“I’ve saved well over £400 over the past two years doing this,” a third-year student at Knights Park told The River. “It’s a joke but why pay when you can get it for free?”

The loss of print fees is certain to come as a huge embarrassment to the University which is trying to cut back on spending.

The cheat is thought to have gone unnoticed for years before being stamped out at Knights Park campus last year.

Under the radar for years

One student estimated up to 90 per cent of people on their course did not pay for colour printing.

A spokesman for the university said: “Information Services became aware recently that some students had found a way to print without paying and steps have now been taken to prevent this happening again.”

The loophole, which works only on Mac operating systems, is thought to have been started several years ago by art and design students trying to bypass the hefty colour printing costs at Knights Park campus.

Since then other students, particularly from the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences are believed to have found out about the scam.

The trick is thought to have spread to Penrhyn Road campus when the Knights Park library was temporarily relocated last year to the main campus during a renovation.

While a University crackdown has meant that students are no longer able to print for free from the 150 Mac computers at Knights Park, it is still possible to print for free from Macs at Penrhyn Road.

For the full story, read the latest copy of  The River, out on March 2.

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