Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Together Let’s Stamp out Plagiarism

Please read. email from VC.

Text Box: “Plagiarism up 700%” at University of Nottingham” (http://registrarism.wordpress.com/2010/02/12/plagiarism-up-700-at-university-of-nottingham/ Retrieved on th July 2010)Universities admit, educate and certify the human capital of the nation. Nothing can be more pernicious to this mission than the disease of plagiarism that would stain the image of a university. The three vignettes highlight a growing global trend in cheating among students in higher education. With the Internet, this academic crime has ‘flourished’.
What is plagiarism? In brief, it is the act of passing off the ideas and works of others as one’s own. This includes also paraphrasing, summarising and translation of the work of others without proper acknowledgement.
Text Box: One third of all essays submitted to German universities are plagiarised via the internet, according to the head of the German university association, who believes that lifting material from websites is becoming routine. (http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/tools_and_services/specials/article809537.ece. Retrieved on 9th July 2010)We in UITM have always treated plagiarism as a serious academic misconduct punishable by expulsion. The buntings and posters displayed around the campus are intended to reiterate our stand and to raise awareness among the students and staff to this academic ‘cancer’. To help fight it, all faculties and lecturers are advised to clarify to their students the meaning and the many ‘faces’ of  plagiarism. There are misconceptions amongst students on what plagiarism actually is. Unintentional plagiarism is no less a crime than an intentional act. To ensure common understanding and a concerted effort to eradicate plagiarism, all faculties, campuses and institutions in UiTM are provided with as much information on plagiarism as possible to be shared with and disseminated to the students.
As part of UiTM’s continuing effort to ensure integrity in assessment practices, all student works will gradually be screened for plagiarism through the use of anti-plagiarism software. Students caught cheating will be dealt with according to the regulations of UiTM. Last semester, UiTM expelled a student and suspended two others for plagiarism. That should send a clear message of how serious we are in this matter.
Text Box: Dick et al, 2003) reports 12 studies of cheating, mostly with college students, in which an average of 75% of students reported cheating sometime during their college career (cited in Neil C. Rowe, Cheating in Online Student Assessment: Beyond Plagiarism , http://www.westga.edu/~distance/ojdla/summer72/rowe72.html. Retrieved on 9th July 2010)It is my hope that  students will also play their part in being ethical in all their works submitted for assessment to gauge their achievement and capability. Integrity and character are qualities that everyone looks for in a student. Without ethics, the technical knowledge is suspect. Plagiarism undermines the student’s self-confidence, denies the opportunity to develop thinking and writing skills, and above all, distorts the system of assessment that forms the bedrock of any academic institution.
However, students should not be unnecessarily alarmed and refuse to incorporate related and valuable ideas of others in their work. Indeed, many exercises require that students do just that – read, analyse, synthesise and put forward  their own views. All ideas except one’s own and those which fall under the label  “common knowledge” must be duly and properly acknowledged. When in doubt,  ask  lecturers for assistance. Learning and development are about building on the work of others.
So, let us be aware and be informed about this plague and join hands to rid the university of this disease. Let us stay true to UiTM’s motto – Usaha, Taqwa, Mulia (Endeavour, Piety, Dignified)

Yours Sincerely,
Vice Chancellor

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