What is Academic Integrity?
Academic integrity is the expectation that teachers, students, researchers and all members of the academic community act with honesty, trust, fairness, respect and responsibility. Breaching academic integrity is also known as “academic misconduct” or “academic dishonesty”.
What does Academic Integrity mean and why is it important?
When we fail to excel with integrity, it may be called cheating, academic misconduct, academic dishonesty, or an academic integrity violation. Cheating occurs when a student attempts to get an academic credit in a way that is dishonest, disrespectful, irresponsible, untrustworthy or unfair.
Who gets affected by Academic Integrity?
The whole community gets affected! If anyone is guilty of Academic Integrity it affects the reputation of the institution you studied at, disrespects the tuition providers, lectures etc. It affects the standard of work that will be delivered if the person got a position based on a fraudulent qualification. It affects the community where you live and socialize and ultimately you are cheating yourself!
What happens in the workplace, especially finance?
If you had to be awarded a qualification knowing that you have cheated in some form or another, and you land a position in the workplace – what happens?
Your qualification might say that you are equipped and ready to enter as a bookkeeper, or a tax consultant or Accountant, or Finance Manager, but then you sit in the workplace and then you are not able to perform the function!
You are then committing fraud with your employer. You are putting the business and all its employees at risk as you may not then know how to do Debtors or Creditors or Cash Books and this affects the companies’ cash flow. Or you may not do Management Accounts correctly, which then affects decisions the company makes based on what it believes to be correct from the Finance Department. This could lead to the company closing down and employees being retrenched! Or because you don’t follow compliance properly. you put your clients or fellow colleagues and company as risk with SARS and legislation.
Can you imagine going to a surgeon for a life threatening emergency surgery and only to find out later the surgeon cheated and did not have the skills, integrity and qualification to perform such a surgery? Such is the same in the world of Finance.
Honesty and integrity is vital in any walk of life, but in the role of anyone in the Finance sector, it is critical that you have high moral ethics at all times.
What are the 5 values of Academic Integrity?
In short, you need to be honest, trustworthy, fair, respectful and take responsibility.
What can be regarded as cheating?
A reminder that formatives (part of your Portfolio’s of Evidence) forms a large part of your overall mark AND they ultimately are there to assist you, the learner, to ensure you actually understand your work and are there to prepare you for your summative (your end exam).
Asking for assistance with completion of the PoE certainly infringes on Academic Integrity, as much as it is cheating with your end exam.
Ultimately, you are cheating yourself!
Want to know more?
Have a look at this helpful article to define cheating: https://academicintegrity.ucsd.edu/excel-integrity/define-cheating
Rather than cheating, be the envy of all with a true qualification to be proud of.