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Plagiarism on the rise at Swedish universities

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Plagiarism on the rise at Swedish universities
12:03 CEST+02:00
Some 800 students were suspended or received a formal warning due to cheating at Swedish universities last year, an increase of 5 percent compared to 2010, according to a new report from the Swedish National Agency for Higher Education (Högskoleverket).

“Plagiarizing has increased dramatically over the last decade. In 2001 there were only 68 cases,” said the agency's legal expert Pontus Kyrk in a statement.

Plagiarizing is the most common form of cheating among university students, according to the study.

The largest number of disciplinary cases reported was at Blekinge Institute of Technology (Blekinge Tekniska Högskola) and the least at University of Gothenburg.

Of the detected cheaters, 639 were suspended and 151 received an official warning. Compared to 2010, the number of suspensions increased by 8 percent, while the issued warnings have decreased a little.

The number of students caught cheating has increased by 522 percent over the last ten years; from 127 to 790 cases. But as the number of students enrolled at Swedish universities have increased at the same time, the comparison isn't completely fair.

Today, there are more than ten times as many cases of plagiarism compared with 2001.

However, according to the agency this can be explained in part by the increased awareness among the universities of this kind of cheating and the more advanced strategies to come to detect and come to terms with it.

“It is much more common today that universities use text matching tools to control the students' work," Kyrk said.

TT/The Local/rm

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