Is Cheating Cultural - Paper Example

Published: 2021-07-27
1007 words
4 pages
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Boston College
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The true extent of cheating among students is underestimated in the education system from the European nations, Canada, and American universities. It is no doubt that cheating is a cultural phenomenon among international students. In his article in the Chronicle, Brendan (1, par 4) argues that the epidemic in Britain has been fuelled by an influx of foreign student majorly from China and India. From Mary University in London, the University of Kent, University of Westminster, and Birmingham City University, the problem of cheating especially among foreign students is the rapid growth of essay mills, dishonesty, and availability of money to seek for online services. From the statistics presented in the Chronicle by Brendan, the UK education system has rapidly changed since it opened up its doors to foreign students who have perpetuated the habit. However, Brendan (1, par 7) notes that various universities across the European Union have improved on the detection of academic cheating with severe punishments on students caught. It is no doubt that cheating in academics especially among international students has grown rapidly especially with the advent of online sites offering the services and as a way to achieve success. Additional factors fuelling the habit is a high expectation from sponsors, availability of money, and weak moral guidelines to help in observing honesty and academic integrity.

Jon Marcus article in the World University Rankings, titled Foreign Students rule-breaking: Culture clash or survival skills attempts to view cheating among international students from two perspectives; survival tactic or culture clash. From the conversations presented by Marcus, cheating is a combination of the two in which international students find themselves surviving academically and culturally (Marcus 1, par 12). Although Marcus acknowledges that there is no cultural difference in the acts of the students, he highlights the rampant tendency of international students to cheat and involved in academic dishonesty. Marcus acknowledges (1, par 16) that attempts by universities such as Windsor to create a tight spotlight effect on the habit may compound the challenge further. However, the article points to the growing uncontrolled tendency by international students, especially from China. Higher performance required by sponsors and relatives further put the students in a potentially demanding situation forcing them into cheating. Despite the many efforts by universities to curb on the habit, international students from outside the European and Canadian Universities find themselves in an awkward position to balance between achieving academic success and handling international students.

The widespread aspect of cheating and plagiarism is not only a moral social problem, but an aspect of corruption, exploitation, and dishonesty that stems from poor cultural upbringing. Although the tones taken by various education stakeholders make the habit grave, it only appears so as a way in which the education systems can escape the blame. However, resolving and finding a solution to cheating and plagiarism among international students has often posed a threat to the wellbeing of both local and international students. According to "The Conversation" an online newsletter, cheating, and plagiarism have grown in bounds with the increased admission of international students in Australian Universities. Despite the fact that the article views plagiarism and cheating as a rarity, the fact that majority of those who practice it are international students point to a moral aspect rarely considered by learning institutions while judging and viewing the habit (Emmaline 1, par 14). The difference with which the article takes on cheating as a cultural aspect puts it apart with most universities views in which majority of universities consider cheating as a cultural phenomenon majorly undertaken by international students. It is no doubt that international students well financial ability to pay for online services highly encourage cheating. At the same time, the strong urge to maintain a formidable academic performance from the university and sponsors is a pointer to international students taking on the habit than local students.

Canadian Universities record the highest number of failures from international students. Research on the low performance by international students in Canadian universities points to a number of factors that include the inability of the university to make follow-ups on international student's performance. According to Bradshaw and Baluja (1, par 18) in their article "why many international students fail," the authors acknowledge the fact that majority of the international students find themselves in a unique learning environment with many pointing to the fact that Canadian universities put more focus on academic honesty, unlike Indian and Chinese learning Institutions. It, therefore, points to a situation in which students cheat not because of their wish but due to the prevailing circumstances. The situation, therefore, points to a cultural difference in which international students find themselves in challenging education circumstance. However, due to the need to perform and maintain academic integrity, they cheat and plagiarize. It, therefore, points to a cultural tendency with the increasing inability of universities to curb the habit.

Many universities grapple with academic dishonesty with a large number opting for severe penalties on culprits. At the same time, many international students in European universities, Canadian universities, and the US have developed the urge to put on a brave face amidst their failures, dishonesty, and poor academic credentials. The strong pressure from the society is bearing a heavy burden on the students forcing them to pursue unethical means to survive and reap the best from the education system. Coupled with the ease with which international students wants to pursue success, cheating, plagiarism, and academic dishonesty all fall make up the ingredients to emerge successfully.

Works Cited

Foreign student rule-Breaking: culture clash or survival skills? Times Higher Education (THE), 16 Feb. 2017,

Baluja, Tamara. Why many international students get a failing grade in academic integrity. 26 Mar. 2017, Accessed 4 Oct. 2017.

Cheating by International Students Rampant at British Universities, Says Newspaper. 13 Jan. 2016, Accessed 4 Oct. 2017.

Emmaline Bexley Lecturer in Higher Education, University of Melbourne, and Thao Vu PhD Candidate in Education, University of Melbourne. Biased reports on international students not helpful. The Conversation, 21 Sept. 2017,

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