Ethics – Cheating Across Cultures

I am starting a new category today, “ethics.” At the SHC we are focusing more on developing leaders who will be ethical in their outlook. One of the challenges is how to define “ethics” (and is it any different than “morals”?) and how to integrate that into the curriculum and (more importantly) into the ethos of the College.

So through this blog and using the tags/categories I am going to periodically post stories, with and without comments, relating to such issues. We can then select the category and scan through the stories to see what we find. Some might provide case studies for us (as below) others may be essays or simply information. Please feel free to comment as we go along; you can help me form our program by contributing your various and disparate views on these topics.

This story presents us with one of the more difficult aspects of academic integrity where international students are involved. Are ethical standards universal? If not all, are some universal? If so, which ones?

Inside Higher Ed :: Cheating Across Cultures

When Duke University found 34 first-year business school students guilty of collaborating on a take-home test late last month, officials announced a variety of penalties: Pending appeals, nine of the Fuqua School of Business M.B.A. students would be expelled, 15 would receive a one-year suspension and a failing grade in the required course, nine would simply fail the class and one would fail the assignment alone.

Not surprisingly, some of the students are contesting their sentences. This week, a Durham lawyer who%u2019s filed appeals on behalf of 16 of the students cried foul to the Associated Press, arguing that all nine of the expelled students were from Asian countries, and that the students in question failed to fully understand the honor code and the judicial proceedings.

Excuses, excuses? Maybe; maybe not. Regardless, the complaints serve to spotlight some of the particular challenges inherent in addressing issues of academic integrity involving international students, many of whom come to American colleges with different conceptions of cheating. As the number of international students has increased in recent years %u2014 and the number of academic misconduct incidents involving international students has risen accordingly %u2014 educators have increasingly embraced the need to address academic integrity concerns proactively, recognizing in their actions the various cultural influences that can help cause one to cheat.

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