NTU sets new rules to fight plagiarism

Students should sign a statement that their theses meet academic standards and that they consent to possible legal liability

National Taiwan University (NTU) on Friday passed a motion requiring students enrolled in graduate or doctoral programs to sign a plagiarism statement stating that their theses meet ethical standards and are original, at the amid a series of incidents that have seen politicians accused of academic plagiarism ahead of November 26 local elections.

The motion to change its rules on qualifying exams for master’s and doctoral degrees was passed at an internal administrative meeting.

University administrators have voted that all students who have passed their mandatory thesis defense sign a plagiarism statement indicating the integrity and originality of their work and provide the results of plagiarism detection software on the document before they can graduate.

Photo: Yang Mien-chieh, Taipei Times

The statement states that there was no fabrication, falsification, plagiarism or ghostwriting involved in the production of the thesis, and that the student will accept all legal liability if the statement is found to be false.

The passage of the motion formalized a practice that had been adopted by the NTU leadership after an academic ethics review committee at the school determined that the former Taoyuan mayoral candidate of Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Lin Chih-chien (林智堅) had plagiarized his thesis at the NTU. Higher Institute of National Development.

Following the announcement, the university revoked Lin’s degree and degree, resulting in his withdrawal from the mayoral race.

He was replaced by DPP legislator Cheng Yun-peng (鄭運鵬) as the party’s candidate.

Other allegations of academic plagiarism have since been made, mostly through media reports or by members of the DPP, against candidates and members of other parties.

Meeting participants also adopted an addendum stipulating that the university’s Office of Academic Affairs must report theses deemed to contain serious breaches of academic integrity to the personnel department, which should then hold members of the staff accountable. faculty who served as thesis advisers.

Asked by reporters what would constitute a “serious violation”, Academic Affairs Bureau chief Ding Shih-torng (丁詩同) yesterday cited as an example of cases where students’ degrees were revoked.

However, no sanction would be imposed on the adviser if, for example, a thesis turned out to contain only a small paragraph copied from other published documents, which is considered a minor violation of ethics rules, he said. -he declares.

At Friday’s meeting, the university administration also passed a motion stating that if a degree is to be awarded to a student in a part-time graduate program, it must bear wording that differentiates it. degrees awarded to full-time graduate students.

The university administration said it was necessary to make such a distinction because graduates of part-time programs often demonstrate higher job skills than those who completed full-time programs.

So far, only 13 of 25 part-time graduate programs for working professionals at the university make the distinction on degrees.

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