Cheating and plagiarism in higher education
Corruption, fraud and other forms of unethical behaviour are problems that higher education faces in both developing and developed countries, at mass as well as elite universities. While academic misconduct is not new per se, its unprecedented dimensions, the growing challenge of mitigating and preventing it in many academic systems as well as its international aspect are rather new. This tendency requires more attention to be given to promoting ethics in higher education. Ethical behaviour in higher education is a very complex issue, however. It may be perceived differently by insiders and by outsiders; it is also deeply embedded into general institutional and cultural contexts, which makes the problem challenging for comparative analysis. Why do students cheat? Is it because their secondary school preparation was not sufficient, or are they pursuing a university degree as a mere credential, without regard for how they obtain it? Why do faculty members and administrators ignore or pretend to ignore students’ misbehaviour? Are they overloaded with other duties and obligations or is teaching not no longer important (anymore) for their career advancement? Why do faculty members cheat? Why do they publish in “sham” journals, falsify data, employ professional ghostwriters or even steal papers submitted to them for review and publish them as their own? Were they actively cheating as students in the past, and never taught about academic integrity? Are they just under pressure to publish, otherwise their contracts will be not prolonged or they will be not promoted?