Respect for the Integrity of the Academic Process

The rights and responsibilities that accompany academic freedom are at the heart of the intellectual integrity of the University. Students are therefore expected to behave honestly in their learning.

The University Scholars Programme subscribes to an Academic Code that is binding on all students. All students are expected to have read this Code, and to be familiar with its principles.

Academic achievement is ordinarily evaluated on the basis of work that a student produces independently. A student who obtains credit for work, words, or ideas which are not the products of his or her own effort is dishonest. Such dishonesty undermines the integrity of academic standards of the University. Infringement of the Academic Code entails penalties ranging from reprimand to suspension, dismissal or expulsion from the University.

Students in the Scholars Programme are expected to tell the truth. Misrepresentation of facts, significant omissions or falsifications in any connection with the academic process are violations of the Code.

Misunderstanding the Code will not be accepted as an excuse for dishonest work. If a student is in doubt on some points as they affect work in a particular module or as they may be interpreted in practice, he or she should consult the instructor in the module or one of the academic deans in his or her appropriate division, so as to avoid the serious charge of academic dishonesty.

Basic Policy

A student's name on any exercise (e.g., a theme, report, notebook, performance, computer programme, module paper, quiz, or examination) is regarded as assurance that that exercise is the result of the student's own thoughts and study, stated in his or her own words, and produced without assistance, except as quotation marks, references, and footnotes acknowledge the use of printed sources or other outside help. In some instances an instructor or department may authorize students to work jointly in solving problems or completing projects; such efforts must be clearly marked as the results of collaboration. Unless permission is obtained in advance from the instructors of the modules involved, a student may not submit the same exercise in more than one module. Students who perceive the possibility of an overlapping assignment should consult with their instructors before presuming that a single effort will meet the requirements of both modules.

Where collaboration is authorised, students should be very clear as to which parts of any assignment must be performed independently.

Offences Against The Academic Code

Use of Sources

In preparing assignments a student often needs or is required to employ outside sources of information or opinion. All such sources should be listed in the bibliography.

Footnote references are required for all specific facts that are not common knowledge and that do not obtain general agreement. New discoveries or debatable opinions must be credited to the source with specific references to edition and page even when the student restates the matter in his or her own words. Inclusion word-for-word of any part, even if only a phrase or sentence, from the written or oral statement of someone else requires citation in quotation marks and using the appropriate conventions for attribution. Citations should normally include author, title, edition and page. (Quotations longer than one sentence are generally indented from the text of the essay, without quotation marks, and identified by author, title, edition, page.) Paraphrasing or summarising the contents of another's work is not dishonest if the source or sources are clearly identified (author, title, edition, page), but such paraphrasing does not constitute independent work and may be rejected by the instructor.

Laboratory Work and Assignments

Notebooks, homework, and reports of investigations or experiments must meet the same standards as all other written work. If any of the work is done jointly or if any part of the experiment or analysis is made by anyone other than the writer, acknowledgment of this fact must be made in the report submitted. Obviously, it is dishonest for a student to falsify or invent data.

Creative Work

A piece of work presented as the individual creation of the student is assumed to involve no assistance other than incidental criticism from any other person. A student may not, with honesty, knowingly employ story material, wording or dialogue taken from published work, motion pictures, radios, television, lectures or similar sources, without full acknowledgment.

Examinations, Quizzes, and Tests

In writing examinations and quizzes, the student is required to respond entirely on the basis of his or her own memory and capacity, without any assistance whatsoever except such as is specifically authorised by the instructor.

Cheating on examinations and quizzes can take at least the following forms: using another individual to take an examination in one's place; bringing into the exam room unauthorised materials from which one gains unfair assistance; appropriating an exam or exam materials without authorisation; purposely missing an exam in order to gain an advantage; copying during an examination; improper collaboration or unauthorised assistance on take-home examinations; other actions that undermine equity and reduce the objectivity of evaluation of student work

Other Offences Against The Academic Code

In addition to fraudulent uses of sources as described above, dishonesty includes a number of offences that circumvent procedures set up to produce a fair grade. The use of services of commercial "research" companies is cheating and a punishable offence. Students are not allowed to base their course work on papers, reports, or other exercises that have been saved or kept on file from earlier years. Students are also not allowed to submit papers, reports, or other exercises in satisfaction of the requirements of more than one module. Any falsification of records or routines for grading is dishonest, whether before or after graduation. Withholding, removing or destroying materials needed by other students for class exercises is as much an offence against the Academic Code as plagiarism. Lying in the course of investigation of an Academic Code case is also a violation of the Academic Code.

Students should be scrupulous in learning the principles that govern each new area of computer operations to which they are introduced. Unauthorised collaboration, unauthorised borrowing of someone else's data or programmes, and use of the Scholars Programme computers for unethical purposes are subject to disciplinary or legal action.


All cases of suspected academic dishonesty shall be referred to the Dean of the Scholars Programme. Faculty and students are urged to report their suspicions, so that all members of the University community will feel equally responsible for academic honesty, and so that multiple offenders may be identified.

The person alleging a violation of the Code shall provide copies of the work in question and indicate clearly the nature of the alleged violation in an accompanying narrative. In cases of plagiarism, the person making the charge shall provide copies of original sources, if available, marking plagiarised phrases, sentences, and/or paragraphs, and shall indicate borrowings in the accused's text and in original sources. In the case of an examination, the person making the charge shall provide copies of the examination in question, indicate specifically the grounds for the charge, and explain his or her process of discovery. Other alleged offences against the Academic Code should be documented with equal thoroughness and in equal detail.

All cases of suspected academic dishonesty will be screened by the Dean, in consultation with concerned faculty and expert witnesses if needed. If, after screening, the Dean decides that the Honour Code has been violated, he or she shall, as soon as possible, notify the student in writing of the specific charges of dishonesty, the nature of the evidence which has been be presented against him or her, and the penalties which will be imposed.

Community Values and Benefits

The interests and long-range welfare of the University community are best served if all its members, faculty, students, and staff, feel a commitment to principles upon which the Academic Code is based. Faculty are urged to review the procedures by which they evaluate student work, and to avoid situations and processes that may make it easy for a student to cut corners or get unauthorised assistance. Students are urged to consider that the public value of their education depends on the integrity of the grading system, and that academic dishonesty in any form dilutes the value of those grades. If they know of fellow students who are cheating, or taking unfair advantage of policies or procedures, they should bring that to the attention of the Dean, anonymously, if they wish.

The Academic Honour Code is not intended to diminish collegiality in the Scholars Programme. All of us learn from our colleagues; and education is, necessarily, not only a competitive, but also a cooperative enterprise. Simple justice requires, however, that students receive the quantity and quality of academic credit they have earned. Justice of this sort is by no means incompatible with the community values and shared experiences on which a liberal education is based.

Penalties for Plagiarism

The University takes a serious view with regards to any student who commits the offence of plagiarism. Discipline with respect to students is governed by the University’s Statutes and Regulations.

The Director (or the Director's representative) is authorised to enact any penalty he or she judges to be appropriate, in line with the University’s guidelines on penalties. The following are the most common penalties.

I. Reprimand

The teacher and Area Coordinator will review less serious cases of plagiarism and jointly decide on penalties. Typically the student will be allowed to repeat the exercise or complete an alternative assignment. The Director will write a letter of reprimand to the student, and the student's advisor will be notified. A copy of the letter will be placed in the student's academic file at USP. This letter does not constitute a permanent record of the offence, nor will the student's home faculty be notified, but the letter will be used internally by the Programme to assess, if necessary, subsequent cases of plagiarism. In sum:

  1. The student will repeat the exercise or complete an alternative assignment.
  2. The Director's letter of reprimand will be kept in the student's academic file at USP.
  3. The student's advisor will be notified.
  4. The student must appear before the Director.
  5. A Report on Plagiarism will be filed.

II. Failure of the Assignment / Letter of Censure

The Faculty Committee on Plagiarism will review more serious cases of plagiarism (including those involving multiple offences) and recommend penalties. In such cases, the student will typically receive a failing grade for the assignment, and will be required to repeat the exercise or complete an alternative assignment without credit. The student will be allowed to complete the module. Additionally, the Director will write a letter notifying the student's parents and home faculty of the offence. This letter of censure will be kept in the student's academic file at USP for future reference. In sum:

  1. The student will fail the assignment, but must make up the assignment and finish the module.
  2. The student's parents and home faculty will be notified by letter.
  3. This letter of censure will be kept in the student's academic file at USP for future reference.
  4. The student must appear before the Director.
  5. A Report on Plagiarism will be filed.

III. Failure of the Module / Dismissal from the Programme

In the most serious cases of plagiarism, the Faculty Committee on Plagiarism, after considering the case, will decide whether to submit the case to the University’s Board of Discipline for review. A Report on Plagiarism will be submitted to the Board of Discipline in this case. Penalties involving the failure of whole module, or expulsion from the University, may be imposed as a result.