Taskforce on academic misconduct

13 April 2015

University of Sydney Vice-Chancellor Dr Michael Spence will tonight advise the University Senate of plans personally to chair a University-wide taskforce on academic misconduct.

The announcement follows recent allegations raised by Fairfax Media which have challenged the methods traditionally used by all universities to detect academic dishonesty.

"Academic misconduct has no place at the University of Sydney, and the overwhelming majority of our students adhere to our high standards of academic merit, intellectual rigour and ethical behaviour", Dr Spence said today.

"This is not a problem unique to a single faculty or cohort of students - or indeed a single university - but one with which the entire education sector must contend.

"The University of Sydney has an obligation on behalf of its student, staff, alumni and their employers to demonstrate leadership on behalf of the sector to ensure we stay at the forefront of technology and innovation."

"Our assessment processes are designed to minimise the opportunity for misconduct, but we know that the advent of new technologies has led to increasingly innovative methods for students to use, and sadly a small number continue to try and use them instead of applying such innovation to their studies.

"The taskforce will consider new methods for detecting plagiarism and other misconduct, changing assessment methods to minimise opportunities for students to engage in conduct and ways to build the University's culture by making students partners and champions of academic values and the fostering of academic integrity.

The taskforce will ensure the measures currently in place at the University give full effect to its policies on academic dishonesty and make recommendations for change.

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