Staff and student perspectives on the potential of honour codes in the UK

Nadya Yakovchuk, Joe Badge, Jon Scott


Honour code systems have been long-established in some American universities, associated with cultures of academic integrity. This study considers the perceptions of students and staff, elicited through focus groups and electronic voting, in one UK higher education institution regarding the potential for implementation of these systems in the UK. Whilst the main principles of honour codes were broadly welcomed, implementation in the UK higher education context was perceived as problematic. Although both staff and students saw educational benefits in increased student involvement in the promotion of academic integrity and good academic practice, there was a tension between staff who would like to increase the responsibilities of students and the reality of the students' seeming lack of confidence in their ability to discharge those responsibilities. The introduction of students as participants in plagiarism hearing panels and processes was tentatively supported, potentially offering a route to break down the staff-student dichotomy.

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