Take your word for it

July 16, 2009

One of the few advantages of delivering higher education in further education colleges concerns plagiarism ("To catch a plagiarist", 9 July). Most plagiarism in further education is detected by staff simply knowing the work of their students. The method of investigation normally involves interviewing suspects, during which their understanding of the material is investigated. In the rare cases where students maintain their innocence in the face of their ignorance, most staff are confident that at any academic appeal their professional judgment would prove to be sufficient to show that the work was plagiarised.

As most students understand this, plagiarism is rare. But how many universities would take a lecturer's word that work was copied by a student?

John Curry, City of Bath College.

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