The proposal for the University to adopt and sign the QAA Academic Integrity Charter is a big win for our Officers!
After fighting hard to propose the university adopt and sign the QAA Academic Integrity Charter, our proposition has now been approved!
What does this mean?
The Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA) is an independent charity that works to benefit students and higher education and is one of the world’s experts in quality assurance. The Academic Integrity Charter is about how you are educated on plagiarism, collusion and cheating as well as how instances are detected and dealt with. It is intended to provide a baseline position upon which UK providers can build their own policies and practices to ensure that every student’s qualification is genuine, verifiable and respected.
The charter sets out a community approach where the focus isn’t just on punishment. Instead, the approach aims to work with students to find out why an offence was committed and how relevant education can be improved.
Signing this charter has helped to prompt an updated module on academic integrity training that all new students will complete. This will improve how information is conveyed, how it relates to online exams and will provide specific guidance on how to prevent falling for such offences.
Overall, this is a fantastic step towards committing the University to work with students to prevent such offences and not just punish them!
If you are interested in finding out more about the QAA Charter, you will find its 7 Principles at the end of this article.
Well done to our Officers for this huge achievement!
The 7 Principles of the QAA Charter
Principle 1: Everyone is responsible as part of a whole community approach
“All members of a higher education provider’s community are responsible for ensuring academic integrity is embedded and upheld.”
Principle 2: A ‘whole community’ approach
“This approach often combines elements of the following: education and support for staff and students; limiting opportunities to commit academic misconduct; deploying institution-wide detection methods; case reporting and data collection to improve practice; and clearly stated institutional values.”
Principle 3: Working together as a sector
“Sector collaboration can address [academic integrity] including by sharing best practice, collaboration on benchmarking or working together on issues of mutual concern.”
Principle 4: Engage with and Empower students
“providers can work to ensure that students have as much knowledge as possible about, and are supported in the development of, academic integrity and the possible consequences of misconduct - including the impact on future careers.”
Principle 5: Empower and engage with staff
“providers can proactively communicate their academic integrity policies to staff and develop a framework that describes the processes that need to be followed when misconduct cases are identified.”
Principle 6: Consistent and effective institutional policies and practices
“Higher education providers can clearly define what they consider to be academic integrity, and maintain a suite of academic integrity policies and practices that focus on educative and preventative measures, clear terms and definitions, transparent policies, fair and clear processes subject to periodic review.’
Principle 7: Institutional autonomy
“As autonomous institutions, UK higher education providers are the first line of defence against academic misconduct. They are responsible for promoting and maintaining the quality and integrity of their own provision and securing the academic standards of the awards they offer.”