BM 65 – ESU calls for fostering academic integrity across the higher educational institutions
Lack of academic integrity can occur at all levels of an academic society, including students, teachers, researchers and administrative personnel, and is visible through, for example, corruption, plagiarism, fraud, and other unfair forms of behaviour within the academic experience.
A lack of academic integrity within higher education impacts the society negatively in many ways, for example, by creating a culture of cheating, increasing corruption and supplying the society with less qualified graduates. We encourage administrators and faculties of higher educational institutions to adopt our common principle, which is a zero tolerance policy of dishonest behaviour at higher education institutions. We also believe that structural problems exist, that can only be solved on a national level.
We see diverse teaching methods, student centred learning, appropriate assessment forms and clear sanctions of unfair behaviour as the main tools to weaken an environment that result in an academic dishonesty. Expected learning outcomes together with pedagogic and didactic competence-based teaching and learning processes, and the increase of multiple types of examinations and problem-solving tasks depending on the subject and situation, could detract the necessity and opportunity to cheat.
We emphasise the importance of independent arbitration councils within higher education systems as a way to ensure fairness within academic participation. This has to include the right to a free second appeal. Also, mechanisms such as ombudsmen and other institutions, independent both from the state and higher educational institutions, are among key conditions for a transparent functioning of the higher educational systems.
National student representatives must express commitment to quality and fair play in learning and research and to raise attention from administrators in higher educational institutions. We call for public debates and research to be conducted, as a way to secure the issue of academic fairness. We also call for assurance of resources and a capability in monitoring. All this should work together to ensure our common principle – a zero tolerance for dishonesty in academia.