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Why do international students cheat?

Most Canadian universities don't track academic offences by a student's country of origin, but a U.K. study by the Higher Education Academy explores some of the cultural and attitudinal factors behind cheating. Below are some of the questions and key findings of the report. No Canadian students or universities were included in the survey.

What cultural factors impact how students understand the concept of plagiarism?

Respect for authority

25.6 %

Language problem

20.9 %

Previous educational experience on referencing conventions

27.9 %

Cultural misconception (Plagiarism does not matter)

20.9 %

Individual values (Personality trait)

4.7 %

Why do students plagiarise?

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Lack of awareness of referencing conventions

19.61 %


17.65 %

Lack of awareness of plagiarism

15.69 %


9.8 %

Lack of confidence/self-worth

7.84 %

Language problem

7.84 %


7.84 %

Lack of subject knowledge

5.88 %

Carelessness: forgetting to reference

5.88 %

Pressure to write to academic standard

1.96 %

Source: Overcoming the cultural issues associated with plagiarism for International students

Authors: Dr. Charles Juwah, Centre for the Enhancement of Learning and Teaching, The Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen; Dr David Lal, Dept. of Business and Management, Aberdeen Business School, The Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen; Ahmed Beloucif, Dept. of Marketing, Aberdeen Business School, The Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen

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