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Australia: Sydney University rocked by plagiarism.

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posted on Mar, 20 2005 @ 10:01 AM

THE nation's most prestigious academic institution, Sydney University, has been shaken by more than 300 students being investigated for cheating in their studies.
The problem of "academic dishonesty" was most acute in the veterinary faculty where 73 students were suspected of cheating in one subject - more than 10 per cent of faculty enrolment.

A The Daily Telegraph investigation into plagiarism in universities shows cut-and-pasting from the internet has become so widespread that spy software such as Turnitin is now used routinely to catch cheats.

Sydney University faculty reports on student dishonesty, obtained under Freedom of Information laws, show the sandstone institution is struggling with a rash of cheating in some areas.

Bold text added.
Sydney University home page
Turnitin spy software
This type of cheating will only increase in this "information age".


[edit on 20-3-2005 by sanctum]

posted on Mar, 20 2005 @ 10:51 AM
Cheating is not just an Australian problem. When I was in college it was made known to me that some Frat houses had digitized reports and papers and such so that if you needed a report you just had to access the database and print one out. I had a girl approach me before a test and say “do you want to see the test” I looked it over briefly and when I took the test sure enough it was the same one. I know of some professional people that bought a diploma. They paid a couple hundred bucks and it appears that they have a degree in whatever they want. Cheating is all around and it sucks for honest people.

posted on Mar, 20 2005 @ 04:20 PM
What happened to all the students they caught? Is there a no tolerance policy there or what?

posted on Mar, 20 2005 @ 04:59 PM
I'm convinced that cheating in the school system is currently at epidemic proportions. I cannot tell you how many times my university classmates copy assignments, store data on progammable calculators, or bring in unauthorized notes & examples. It is absolutely ridiculous. And no one in authority cares. Of all the cases of cheating and plagiarism I have ever seen, only once, in the most serious case that I am aware of, did the administration try to do anything about it.

That was in my first year. I took a C++ programming course. Only a few people were doing assignments; the rest were copying code, modifying it slightly to make it not completely identical. Change a variable name here, move this line over there, re-word the comments, and submit for marks. The administration would never have caught on until some guy went and hacked into a prof's computer, stole his assignment solutions, and submitted it unmodified. When the marker then saw an assignment identical to the prof's, right down to code comments, even the idiots in admin realized something was really wrong.

The solution? They held an 'amnesty', they called it. A time period was defined, and anyone who 'turned themselves in' for cheating on a particular assignment(s) would receive a 0 on those assignment(s), and no other disciplinary action. After that time period was up, anyone found cheating was to be given the normal penalties (F in course, expulsion, etc). No one turned themselves in, surprise surpise. Except for that one guy, no one got in trouble, either.

It's easier to catch people cheating on things like computer code, or in the arts, essays and papers. In my field (engineering) it is extremely difficult to prove someone cheated. If the answer to the question is 'the train is travelling 50km/h', everyone who worked the question out right is going to get that answer. Of course, there are different methods, and people solve things in different ways, or find different values first in intermediate steps, etc. As a result, due to the extremely low risk, it happens all the time that people just copy each other's work. It's nearly impossible to prove cheating in these cases, as well, so no one reports it. It's disgusting.

-end rant-

posted on Mar, 20 2005 @ 05:04 PM
Cute. Who teaches the courses in cheating and getting away with it - or is it more that the staff cave in under the overwhelming load of detecting already published stuff free for all to plagiarize?

I know a certain school at Sydney University that became integrated with another one across town, where my work is plagiarized to this day.

BTW, is Sydney really still held out as the 'most prestigious' institution in Australia? I thought that would have been long gone, 30+ years ago.

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