Ministry of Education mulls steps to instill greater academic integrity

  • By Jake Chung / Editor, with CNA

The Department for Education said yesterday it was considering measures to instill greater academic fidelity in institutions and safeguard the quality of academic papers.

Measures being considered include reducing the quota for recruiting students from departments and colleges that do not uphold academic discipline and assigning blame to the professor or department responsible for teaching.

The ministry has told universities that all master’s and doctoral theses must be transparent and public.

Hopefully, students who don’t make their thesis public will become the minority, he said.

The ministry will also publish the ratio of non-public theses in all university departments in Taiwan, he added.

Examiners for the oral defense should be university professors or researchers of a certain level, and other people, selected for their expertise or professional knowledge, should work with other panelists and do their best to prioritize academic professionalism, the ministry said.

He said he would ask universities to publish their criteria for oral defense panelists and the ratio of people serving as oral defense reviewers who are sought after for their professional expertise.

If a student’s dissertation is found to have violated academic integrity, the teaching professor must share responsibility, the ministry said.

The department to which the professor belongs would also face punitive measures, such as a recruitment freeze, a lower recruitment quota or a reduction in grants, if it does not provide suggestions and measures for improvement, a- he declared.

The ministry said it plans to purchase systems capable of cross-referencing academic journals and archived documents for use by universities so they can more actively investigate allegations of plagiarism.

The ministry’s statement came after Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) member Chung Hsiao-ping (鍾小平) presented documents to the ministry yesterday in support of his accusation that the mayor of Hsinchu City, Lin Chih-chien (林智堅), had plagiarized parts or all of his master’s thesis while a student at National Taiwan University’s Higher Institute of National Development, as well as another paper while studying at Chung Hua University.

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