The number of University of Otago students caught cheating
and committing other dishonest practices increased by more
than 50% last year.
Figures released to the Otago Daily Times under the Official
Information Act show 72 students were dealt with for
dishonest practices last year - a 56.5% increase on the 46 in
Like the previous year, most incidents related to assignments
being plagiarised - some knowingly and others because of
ignorance of university policy.
Other cases involved looking at other students' work in exams
or bringing notes to exams.
Of the 72 cases, 64 related to internal assessments, with the
other eight involving cheating during exams.
Ten cases involved international students. Half of these were
Students taking humanities papers made up 33 cases, commerce
19, health sciences 11 and sciences 9.
For the second year in a row, the subject area with the most
dishonesty cases was ''Maori, Pacific and Indigenous
Studies'' with 14 cases.
The most common punishment was to reduce marks or give a zero
mark for the relevant assignment.
A university spokeswoman said there were no obvious cheating
trends. Students were usually caught by lecturers, who had
access to software which could detect plagiarism, or when
examination supervisors found unauthorised material during
In some cases, students were caught because they were unaware
of proper referencing procedures. These students were
referred to the university student learning centre for
More than 18,500 equivalent full-time students studied at the
university last year.