Disciplinary cases at university colleges and universities 2006
The Swedish National Agency for Higher Education´s closing commentsThe number of cases before the disciplinary boards continues to increase, although the rate of increase has levelled off somewhat. The number of students who were subject to disciplinary action at state-run higher education institutions increased by 8 per cent between 2005 and 2006. Between 2004 and 2005, the increase was 13 per cent, and between 2003 and 2004 as much as 59 per cent.
The number of students suspended for plagiarism has continued to grow, and in fact much of the increase in the number of suspended students in 2006 is due to a larger number being called to account for plagiarism in particular. One explanation for why increasing numbers of students are subject to disciplinary action due to plagiarism may be that more and more institutions use different search services to compare material handed in by students with material that already exists on the Internet and in other sources. In earlier reviews, the Swedish National Agency for Higher Education has assumed that the attention surrounding the specific problem of plagiarism would contribute to a reduction in the number of cases. However, such an effect has not occurred.
Against this background, the Swedish National Agency for Higher Education will hold a conference on 1 June 2007 with employees at universities and university colleges about plagiarism as a form of cheating. The emphasis at the conference will be on how to prevent cheating by means of pedagogic strategies. In the light of the increasing number of cases, disciplinary action does not appear to be a sufficient means of controlling plagiarism. The importance of institutions informing students about the consequences of plagiarism cannot be exaggerated.