Thousands of students cheating at university

February 26, 2014

Results of a CBC survey of 54 Canadian universities show that almost 7,000 students were punished for cheating in 2011-12, representing less than 1% of the total student population. Of these cases, plagiarism was the biggest offender, found in more than 50% of cases; unauthorized aid and inappropriate collaboration accounted for 22%, and cheating on tests made up 10% of cases. However, Julia Christensen Hughes, Dean of the College of Management and Economics at the University of Guelph, said that student surveys show that more than 50% admit to various forms of cheating. “There's a huge gap between what students are telling us they're doing and the numbers of students that are being caught and sanctioned for those behaviours,” noted Hughes. McGill University Professor David Harpp explains that although punishments can act as a deterrent, the penalties may actually be “a little bit soft.” Hughes asserts that in order for an institution to retain its academic integrity, cheaters must be caught and punished. “For those degrees to continue to have value, they have to stand for something. They have to represent that a student has engaged with a curriculum, with a program, has achieved a certain level of mastery," says Hughes. CBC