Academic cheating in Malaysia?
In Malaysia, we might not openly admit the problems of academic cheating, but it does exist and needs to be addressed by those who are in charge of ensuring academic standards in institutions of higher learning.
If a former MBA student of University of Bath had not done a Google search, he would not have discovered that University Technology Mara had illegally deposited in its library 14 academic theses done by students who graduated with MBA from Bath in 1994. (Ex-students: How did theses end up in UiTM library?, FMT April 28)
|The authorities are not open or transparent as they prefer to sweep them under the carpet ... TRUE !
How did UiTM come to violate international copyright rules and get away with it?
The question posed by the former student was simply this? How did these theses come to be deposited in UiTM’s library and whether it had sought the permission of University of Bath or the students concerned?
Academic cheating or plagiarism is not uncommon in Malaysia. But most of the time, students, lecturers and even professors get away with this intellectual dishonesty.
The authorities in the institutions of higher learning are not very open or transparent when it comes to acknowledging the problems of academic cheating. Most of the time, they prefer to sweep these ugly episodes under the carpet for fear that it might affect their academic rating.
In the past, there have been cases of academic cheating by students and lecturers in universities and colleges, but very few have been punished.
Many in the academic circles realize the phenomenon of academic cheating is there, but the authorities are too entrapped in the bureaucratic red-tape to address this problem.
Academic cheating is a serious crime in universities. Those who are caught can be prosecuted and jailed or fined.
But unfortunately, the Ministry of Education that oversees academic standards simply does not have the political will to reduce academic cheating in institutions of higher learning.
P Ramasamy is state assemblyman for Prai and deputy chief minister II of Penang
Ex-students: How did theses end up in UiTM library?
PETALING JAYA: Fifteen former students attached to University of Bath in the United Kingdom have accused University Technology Mara (UiTM) of intellectual property theft.
They claimed they discovered their MBA thesis papers linked to UiTM’s “institutional repository” (library), Star Online reported.
They said the theses had been used without their consent.
|Google search finds their MBA thesis papers in UiTM’s institutional repository.
The 15 were from four groups of graduates from the 1994 Bath Executive Masters of Business Administration (MBA)-Malaysian Institute of Management (MIM) programme.
The news report quoted Sam Than, who first made the discovery.
He said he found a link to the repository while searching for information on Google. The 58-year-old consultant had completed his group thesis paper for his MBA 22 years ago.
“What was more puzzling was that our thesis had the UiTM logo and copyright on their paper.”
He said this gave the impression that they had somehow collaborated on the thesis with UiTM or under UiTM auspices.
Than claimed that three other groups from his programme had found out that their Bath MBA thesis papers were also in the repository.
He said he e-mailed UiTM demanding why his thesis was uploaded to its repository and they replied that it had now been taken down.
MIM told The Star the intellectual property rights were with the student and the conferring institution – in this case, University of Bath.
The Star said it found that Than’s group paper had been taken down from the UiTM repository but those from the other three groups were still there.
UiTM IR told the newspaper it was currently investigating the matter.
UiTM Vice-Chancellor Prof Emeritus Dr Hassan Said was later reported to have ordered an immediate inquiry into the allegations.
“UiTM’s repository has a well-known rule on the immediate removal of any plagiarised material. We have instituted an immediate enquiry and will get to the bottom of this serious allegation.
“Academic integrity is a matter of great importance to UiTM. Hence, preventive measures are in place to check abuse and misuse of intellectual property.”
Hassan also said that any student or academic who violates rules against plagiarism was subject to disciplinary proceedings, which can result in severe penalties, including dismissal, suspension, a demotion in the case of lecturers, or civil action by the affected parties against the wrongdoer.
“UiTM will not shield any wrongdoer and will cooperate with legal authorities.”