Introduction: Integrity is one of the core values of Unitech. Academic integrity is the quality of being honest in all academic matters. Unitech students and faculty are expected to adhere to absolute integrity in all relationships and interactions that are related to the educational process. Plagiarism, which is passing on of another’s work as one’s own, is one of the more obvious manifestations of lack of academic integrity. Plagiarism can be inadvertent, but it is unacceptable even then. Students are encouraged to use anti-plagiarism software such as TURNITIN to stamp out inadvertent plagiarism from their work. Other manifestations of lack of academic integrity include providing or using unauthorized assistance in examinations, tests and homework, fabrication of laboratory or field data, bribery, sabotage and misrepresentation of one’s academic accomplishments.
Purpose: The purpose of this policy is to safeguard academic integrity at Unitech. While both students and faculty are expected to demonstrate the highest standards of academic integrity, the rules in this document are limited to dealing with the conduct of students. The rules delineate which manifestations of lack of academic integrity should be subject to disciplinary action.
Violations against academic integrity: A student who does any of the following is guilty of violating academic integrity and will incur academic sanctions and / or other punishments as deemed fit by the Academic Board:
- Presenting someone else’s data or words as your own. This includes cutting and pasting texts from the internet or other places without properly citing the source, using someone else to write your paper and using a translation of paper from another language as your own paper.
- Using or providing unauthorised help in working out an assessable item. This includes receiving or providing unauthorised help in examinations, homework, project work and tests. When allowed, students are encouraged to discuss assigned work among them in order to master it, but no student should get help in work that is meant to test whether he or she can do it without assistance.
- Using mobile phones, electronic devices or reference materials such as books, calculators with alphanumeric text input possibility and notes in assessable items where they are not allowed. These are academic violations, but they can point to a lack of academic integrity.
- Requesting an academic benefit based on false information. This includes lying in order to get a better grade, an extension of time or a good recommendation.
- Providing a false excuse for missing a deadline or falsely claiming to have submitted assessable work.
- Acting to prevent others from completing their work. This includes hoarding books or other reference materials so that other cannot use them.
- Altering a graded assignment or test and submitting that for reassessment.
- Submitting substantially the same work in more than one subject without authorization.
Penalty: If a Subject Lecturer is satisfied that a student has manifested a lack of academic integrity in his or her subject then he or she should collect any evidence that might be available and award a mark of 0 to the student in the particular assessment item. If the assessment item contributes 10% or more to the final assessment for that subject, then the Subject Lecturer should present a written report to the Chief Examiner of that subject within five days. Any available evidence should be included in this report.
On receipt of a written report on cheating in an assessment item, a Chief Examiner should interview the student, review any available evidence, collect signatures of at least two witnesses, and if necessary, ask the student to submit a written defence. Any written defence should be available at the Departmental Examination Committee Meeting and at the Courses Examination Committee Meeting for that semester.
The fairness of the decision of a Subject Lecturer in a case of violation of academic integrity will be discussed by a Departmental Examination Committee Meeting for that semester. This committee will review the overall mark for the student in that subject. If a Departmental Examination Meeting is satisfied that a student cheated in substantial manner in a final examination, then it should award a mark of 0F as the final score for that student in that subject. In any case, the reviewed mark will be taken as the official mark awarded to the particular student in the particular subject. The committee will also decide whether the manner and extent of violation warrants a reference to the University Disciplinary Committee. However, cases that amount to a breaching of national law, such as forged identity, should be reported to the Police.
Decisions about academic integrity that are taken by a Departmental Examination Committee will be referred to the subsequent Courses Examination Committee and to the University Examination Committee for consideration and possible endorsement.