Saturday, November 3, 2018
Academic Dishonesty in Russia Increasingly Condemned but Still Widespread
Staunton, November 1 – One of the most dangerous threats to the intellectual future of Russia has been widespread tolerance of plagiarism and other former of academic dishonesty in even the best universities of that country. If people are certified without having the knowledge and skills that requires, they will undermine far more than just their own careers.
Now, there is some evidence that Russian higher education has begun to turn the corner. A joint study by the Higher School of Economics and the Levada Center has found that “higher educational institutions are ever less tolerance to academic fraud and are monitoring it more carefully” (vedomosti.ru/politics/articles/2018/11/02/785516-vshe-akademicheskogo-moshennichestva).
To track this phenomenon, the study divided Russia’s higher schools into four categories: leading, ordinary, creative and private. “Fewer than half (47 percent) of instructors from all categories said they had not heard of any cases of bribery; 30 percent said they had heard of them in other schools; and 20 percent had heard about them in their own as well as others.”
The incidence of bribery was reported as highest in private universities – 51 percent – and lowest in the creative ones – 20 percent. But instructors in all categories are more inclined now than earlier to insist on checking for plagiarism has gone up from 68 percent in 2012-2014 to 75 percent now, perhaps in the wake of the exposure of so many plagiarized dissertations.
But Vedomosti noted, “in comparison with 2014, cases of dishonest behavior among instructors, according to the instructors themselves, have not become less frequent; and in certain cases, they have even increased” despite the overall figures suggesting growing disapproval of this plague.
Students polled said that the most common form of academic dishonesty among them was preparing with a group work that is supposed to be done independently (34.3 percent), using already published works without adequate citations (29.9 percent), and pulling articles off the Internet (26.9 percent).
At the same time, the students reported that their instructors were more prepared now than four years ago to give bad marks to students who were caught engaging in these activities, a reflection of the fact that ever more higher educational institutions have put in place programs to monitor and then eliminate academic dishonesty.