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A student who was booted off his degree course for plagiarism is to sue the university. He says tutors at the University of Kent should have spotted what he was doing and stopped him sooner.

Michael Gunn, a 21-year-old English student, freely admits using material downloaded from the Internet to complete his assignments. He told the Times: "I hold my hands up. I did plagiarise. I never dreamt it was a problem."

His problem, then, is not that he was caught, but that he was caught too late. He argues that the university should have warned him of the consequences earlier.

"I can see there is evidence I have gone against the rules," he concedes. "But they have taken all my money for three years and pulled me up the day before I finished. If they had pulled me up with my first essay at the beginning and warned me of the problems and consequences, it would be fair enough."

University authorities wouldn't comment directly on the case stressed that the university is very clear on the subject. David Nightingale, the deputy vice-chancellor said: "All students are given clear guidelines as well as practical advice and support as to what constitutes plagiarism. These spell it out that it is not acceptable under any circumstances." ®

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