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Cheating on the rise in Asia

May 29th, 2006

I’ve now twice read of how “academic dishonesty” is becoming a major problem in China, but these newspaper articles aren’t about students cheating, though that is definitely going on. In today’s Globe and Mail there is another article on researchers falsifying research or engaging in excessive plagiarism. Apparently Chen Jin (陳進) a Dean at Shanghai Jiaotong University one of the most prestigious in China was recently fired over this.

While I was at Tsinghua on exchange as part of my MBA there was a cheating scandal. There were accusations aplenty at the Sauder School of Business as well. I also wrote the GMAT abroad so I know all about the security procedures GMAC has mandated in an attempt to curb cheating. China has a very exam focused culture with entrance examinations to get into top universities, they may have even taken things further than the Japanese have. I read while I was there about how students got other students to write exams for them. These weren’t the dreaded entrance exams though.

One of the exams people cheat on is the SAT. This is such a problem you can not even write the exam in mainland China you must travel to Hong Kong. Operation Varsity Blues brought more attention to this and a new article on companies that help Chinese students get into American universities was making the rounds.

While I was a student at Tsinghua I definitely editing some resumes and other documents but I didn’t do any ghostwriting. I just refuse to get involved with anything dubious.

Plagiarism is also Rampant in Russia

So much so that Vladimir Putin’s own Ph.D. is being questioned. Apparently it has become a status symbol in Russia to have a post-Graduate degree, so much so people are basically buying them or the dissertations are being rubber stamped without being properly vetted. Having done a post-Graduate degree I know some of my classmates cheated on exams or assignments, they admitted as much to me personally. Some got caught, some did not, none were expelled.

With everything being digitized, it may become easier to catch cheaters on essays, but some professors just don’t care to verify originality and authenticity. I think the same thing is happening in Computer Science, students can just go online and Google the answer, download some code, and hand it in.

The CFA® Institute takes cheating very seriously and makes everyone worldwide sit the same exam at almost the same time. I don’t think Putin is in any danger of losing his degree or his political position, but others might. As someone who earned his degrees the hard way without cheating and without the benefits of Google or StackOverflow, my then continued unemployment, when confirmed cheaters and plagiarizers are making big money did not sit particularly well.

Korea Plagiarism Scandal

While using my new news app, a story was recommend to me about a cheating scandal at South Korean, 200 professors at up to 50 universities are implicated. And people wonder why an honest person like myself has trouble finding a job, itis because everyone I’m competing against seems to be lying, cheating, and generally overstating their qualifications by a country mile.

If you have any insight into the rise of cheating to get into university or while at university you can leave a comment below. I actually wrote a lot of exams while living in China including multiple CFA exams. I passed them the old fashioned way I sacrificed and studied for years.


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