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Addressing Academic Misconduct – QAA's latest research supporting academic integrity

Date: July 23 - 2021

QAA is supporting its member institutions to manage cases of academic misconduct through a new research report which investigates how higher education providers deal with potential academic integrity offences and highlights the value of collaboration between providers around the handling of academic misconduct.

Exploring QAA Members’ Approach to Academic Misconduct Cases and Use of Penalties, which is available to QAA Members, aims to establish a picture of how UK higher education providers investigate and deal with instances of academic misconduct - encompassing a range of offences including plagiarism, collusion and contract cheating.

The objectives of the research were to:

  • establish the typical penalties that higher education providers apply for academic misconduct cases
  • understand the rationale for any differences between providers
  • enable further advice to be informed by the norms relating to academic integrity penalties.

QAA commissioned Shift Learning to undertake the research on behalf of our members, with the research funded by QAA Membership. It included 41 in-depth interviews and a qualitative online survey with QAA Member institutions. This survey attracted 73 responses from higher education institutions (HEIs), independent providers and further education colleges (FECs).

The report will be complemented by a series of case studies from QAA Member providers, highlighting key themes and innovative practice that emerged during the research. This research is part of QAA’s ongoing work on academic integrity

This research will inform advice to assist providers in moving towards a measure of UK-wide consistency on matters relating to academic integrity. You can view further information on QAA’s work on Academic Integrity on our website, and can also sign your institution up to the QAA Academic Integrity Charter as an explicit, public commitment to good practice.

QAA will host a webinar for member institutions on 14 September to share more information about the research, and QAA’s wider work on academic integrity. Visit the event booking site for more information and to register.

The research report is available to staff and students from all QAA Member institutions on our Membership Resources Site. QAA Members can sign up to use the Membership Resources Site by completing our simple registration form.

Further information about QAA Membership, which provides access to this advice along with a broad range of other benefits, is on our website.