Study: Three out of Four Students Notice Cheating in a Formal Academic Exercise

VILNIUS – Lithuanian National Union of Students (Lietuvos studentų sąjunga – LSS) represents a study “Index of Academic Integrity 2013”. The main goal of the study, which was performed for two years in a row, is to discover the state of academic dishonesty in Lithuanian Higher Educational Institutions and to find out more effective ways to fight against academic cheating.

LSS President Paulius Baltokas says: “Academic dishonesty is a serious and yet common problem of Lithuanian higher education. By the representation of this study we are hoping not only to pay attention on this problem, but also to emphasize the consequences of this process than development of cheating decreases the quality of higher education, stimulates diploma devaluation, compromises system of higher education. In order to fight with this problem, academic communities need to join their forces together and to do it purposely“.
Results of the study demonstrate most of the students discovering academic dishonesty in the process of individual work and in the cheating on tests or exams.

Faculty notices cases of cheating more rarely

Research shows, faculty sees dishonest actions more rarely than their students. For instance, only 5 per cent of faculty emphasise the usage of crib notes as the common action, meanwhile the amount of students with an opposite opinion is 7 times bigger (34 per cent).
LSS Sociologist Martynas Kriaučiūnas comments: “It is the first time than we used interviews of the teachers was used at the research. As well as students, teachers were asked in what ways academic dishonesty is common in the studying process. The results surprised, because most of the teachers does not notice or refuse to notice dishonest actions on examination process. This shows that teacher impact into the teaching and examination process is not completed properly.”

Students will sign the promise not to cheat

In order to take part in the prevention of cheating in public examinations, LSS together with “Transparency International” Lithuanian Chamber, suggest for Higher Education Institutions to use special examination papers. They should be used to print out students’ word of honour not to use any forbidden sources of information, cheating or the help of colleagues.

Rector of Vytautas Magnus University Zigmas Lydeka and Rector of Kaunas University of Technology, President of Lithuanian Universities Rectors’ Conference Petras Baršauskas, have already approved this initiative of LSS and Transparency International. It is hoped, before the end of the spring semester final exams, rest of Higher Education Institutions will approve the matter.

The main goal of the study, which was performed for two years in a row, is to discover the amount of academic dishonesty in Lithuanian Higher Educational Institutions. The survey included 1700 students of bachelor and master degree students answering questions about academic integrity during March 30 – May 7, 2013. The research company “SpinterTyrimai” conducted the survey.