Academics in the United Kingdom have drawn up a national tariff covering penalties for student plagiarism, which could be adopted as a worldwide system for dealing with offenders.
Studies in this area have found high levels of inconsistency in the penalties universities employ to punish students who are found guilty of copying, with wide variations between, and even within, institutions.
It wasn't that hard for admissions officers for the M.B.A. program at Pennsylvania State University to figure out that they had a plagiarism problem this year. One of the topics for application essays referenced the business school's idea of "principled leadership." Some applicants apparently Googled the term and came up with an article about the concept in a publication of a business school association. Thirty applicants submitted essays that either lifted many passages straight from the article or substantially paraphrased the article without appropriate attribution.
It’s not uncommon for colleges to discontinue academic programs overseas for financial reasons. But Centenary College, in New Jersey, is shutting down an M.B.A. program in Asia to contain a plagiarism epidemic. About 400 students are currently enrolled in the program at locations in Beijing, Shanghai and Taiwan.
The revelation that hundreds of University of Central Florida students in a senior-level business class received an advance version of a mid-term exam has exposed the widening chasm in what different generations expect of each other -- and what they perceive cheating to be.