Responses to student plagiarism in higher education across Europe

Irene Glendinning

Abstract


A significant amount of research has been undertaken in response to high levels of student plagiarism in higher education institutions (HEI). New models have emerged over the last decade for strategies and systems for detection, penalties and mitigation, based on deeper understanding of the underlying reasons behind student plagiarism. Most research has been initiated by academics from English speaking countries, particularly from the UK, North America and Australia.

When the proposal for the Impact of Policies for Plagiarism in Higher Education across Europe (IPPHEAE ) project was developed during 2009 very little research had been conducted about the policies for academic integrity adopted by HEIs in the majority of countries in Europe. IPPHEAE, funded by the European Commission (2010–2013), included a comparative study of policies and procedures in place in HEIs across 27 European Union (EU) member states for handling aspects of academic integrity, focusing specifically on bachelor and master’s levels. The survey instruments were on online questionnaires, student focus groups, structured interviews and analysis of documentary evidence, designed with a view to capture a range of quantitative and qualitative responses from different perspectives.

Almost 5,000 responses were captured for the survey, mainly from online questionnaires, made available in 14 languages. Different questions were asked of students, teaching staff and senior managers, to determine how well institutional procedures were understood, to what extent they were operating as intended and whether there was consistency of outcomes within and between institutions. Interviews with researchers and people associated with national bodies and agencies responsible for higher education (HE) quality or academic integrity explored broader perspectives on issues such as national policies and how responses to plagiarism aligned with policies for quality and standards.

This paper presents results from the survey that focus specifically on institutional policies, highlighting examples of good practice and also areas of concern. The findings suggest that different approaches should be adopted according to the maturity of existing policies and systems in all the countries surveyed, to promote more effective assurance of quality, standards and academic integrity.

Full Text:

PDF


DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.21913/IJEI.v10i1.930