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Plagiarism in Higher Education: is there a postcode lottery?

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Although there is a generalised notion of academic misconduct and an assumption that there is a common understanding of the offences across universities, a variation in attitudes to plagiarism is shown to exist. Even within institutions there is anecdotal evidence that certain types of activity are considered by some staff as poor academic practice rather than actual misconduct, which others see as misconduct. External examiner experience shows inconsistency in the approach to dealing with the issue across institutions. This ranges from universities which adopt rigorous detection procedures and follow institutional processes for hearings and application of penalties, to those where less emphasis is placed on formal procedures. There is also a lack of information on whether findings of academic misconduct are routinely recorded in student files and the extent to which universities take positive steps to inform the professional bodies of students who are found to cheat. In the context of highly regulated career destinations such as the legal or medical professions, a finding of academic dishonesty can have serious consequences for a student. The focus of this session will be to illustrate the need to raise student awareness of the importance of developing appropriate skills for research and referencing before embarking on a university degree.

Speaker: Vera Bermingham (Kingston University) Date: 6 July Time: 15.30–17.00 Venue: Cambridge Assessment, 9 Hills Road Cost: Free to attend

This talk is part of the Current Issues in Assessment series.

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