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US: rise in academic dishonesty cases among Chinese students

The number of Chinese students facing dismissal issues at US universities for academic dishonesty is on the rise, according to a recent white paper, which highlights the need to further prepare Chinese students before they enrol at a US college.

Academic dishonesty accounts for 33% of all dismissal issues - an increase from 25% last year. Photo: WholeRen Education

"Many universities start to favour transfer international students from a US community college"

Compiled by international student organisation, WholeRen Education, the white paper looks at 2,713 Chinese students who have been expelled, suspended, or put on probation from the US education system, and also found that the number of dismissal issues for poor academic performance is falling.

Academic dishonesty – which includes cheating on a test, plagiarism and having another student take a test fraudulently – accounts for 33% of all dismissal issues, up from 25% last year, and 21% the year before, according to the white paper.

“Both types may spread like a virus in international student community on campus”

The rise in cases of academic dishonesty has stemmed from an increase in collaborative cheating as well as commercially supported cheating, which includes hiring other people to take exams, according to Andrew Chen, chief development officer at WholeRen.

“Both types of cheating would affect multiple students at the same time, and both types may spread like a virus in international student community on campus,” he told The PIE News.

The highest proportion of Chinese students facing dismissal issues overall, close to 41%, transferred from a Chinese university, which the report attributes to students already having conformed to Chinese university models.

“Those directly entering junior or sophomore major classes often have difficulty adapting in terms of schoolwork without a period of time to acclimate to unfamiliar surroundings,” it says.

“They cannot adjust to the intensity or academic requirement and some of them fail,” Chen added.

“This is why many universities start to favour transfer international students from a US community college, rather than from a foreign four year university.”

Poor academic performance, however, accounts for the highest proportion of dismissal issues among Chinese students.

The importance placed on rankings when students are applying to universities in the US can create problems for students, explained Chen.

“This actually results in the students landed in a school that is not suitable for the student’s capacity level.”

However, the number of Chinese students having to curb their studies at US universities due to poor academic performance, has dropped significantly.

“Pre-departure period [is] a better time than the after-landing orientation, when the students have 100 new things to worry about in a new country”

Accounting for 40% of the dismissal issues in the report, the number has fallen from 53% last year, and from 62% in 2014.

This is partly due to the increase in transition programmes, for example dual enrolment, pathway programmes and community college transfers, said Chen, which ease students into college and allow them to adjust to the academic performance.

With 42% of the students being suspended, put on probation or expelled occurring in students’ first year of study, pre-departure meetings are essential, the white paper highlights.

“Pre-departure period [is] a better time than the after-landing orientation, when the students have 100 new things to worry about in a new country,” said Chen.

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2 Responses to US: rise in academic dishonesty cases among Chinese students

  1. Here is a problem of reporting percentages without the corresponding total numbers. If the number of students facing dismissal for poor performance has declined, no increase in the number of students facing dismissal for academic dishonesty will be reflected by an increase in the percentage of students of students facing dismissal for academic dishonesty. Without the actual numbers, we don’t know if the problem is increasing, staying constant or, in fact, decreasing at a lower rate than dismissal for poor performance. Is this a real crisis or just a game of numbers?

  2. The consequences of cheating by students should be covered during on campus orientation in both English and the students native language. This same information should also be provided to students in a printed document in both English and their native language. And students should be asked to read and sign a copy of the printed documents which is then placed in their official files Yes, a little extra work, but, in many cases, these students are paying a premium tuition which would justify the extra attention. Just think about the loss of revenue to the college when a student is dismissed for cheating.

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