The Register reports that a student who was booted off his degree course for plagiarism is to sue the university. He says tutors at the University of Kent should have spotted what he was doing and stopped him sooner. Michael Gunn, a 21-year-old English student, freely admitted using material downloaded from the internet to complete his assignments. He told The Times newspaper:
"I hold my hands up. I did plagiarise. I never dreamt it was a problem".
His problem, then, is not that he was caught, but that he was caught too late. He argues that the university should have warned him of the consequences earlier.
"I can see there is evidence I have gone against the rules. But they have taken all my money for three years and pulled me up the day before I finished. If they had pulled me up with my first essay at the beginning and warned me of the problems and consequences, it would be fair enough".
University authorities wouldn't comment directly on the case but stressed that the university’s policy is very clear on the subject. David Nightingale, the deputy vice-chancellor said:
"All students are given clear guidelines as well as practical advice and support as to what constitutes plagiarism. These spell it out that it is not acceptable under any circumstances."

The IPKat has little sympathy for Gunn’s position, but wonders whether the University is as worried about the originality of its own lectures as it is about the originality of its students' essays.

Essay banks here and here
Cheating at university here
Déjà vu here
Ten ways to cope with boring lectureshere

1 comment:

  1. Aside from the ethical and policy issues, such plagarism possibly amounts to copyright infringement depending upon the facts.

    There's no problem with Lecturer's plagarising (in so far as it does not amount to infringement, etc), as the essential function of their work is to instruct, not to create original work.

    Students, on the other hand, are being tested to see if they meet standards and criteria: thus plagarising amounts to breaking the learning contract.

    On the other hand - to make a distinction - it may be an issue if researchers and professors plagarise material, considering what their essential roles are.


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