Academic honesty indicators are improving in Lithuania

Would you want a doctor who cheated on his exams to operate on you? Most likely, no. However, while trying to get a better grade, students often leave honesty behind the auditorium door. Wishing to bring light to various higher education processes and the most important values Vytautas Magnus University‘s Student Representatives (VDU SR) are organizing the project “Apšvietimas“ (“Enlightenment”) for the third year in a row.

Last year, the Students’ Union of Lithuania (LSS) conducted a study, the results of which showed that a quarter of students believe that public tests are fair. It is also noticed that the most commonly used fraudulent act is that one or more group members do not perform part of their work.

“Very often there are situations when only one or several group members work in the team and the same assessment is made for everyone,” says Lina Bernotaitė, Vytautas Magnus University sophomore. – In my opinion, the wisdom of each student is important in such cases. You don’t need to be afraid to tell a teacher about the current situation and do not tolerate copying”.

One can be pleased, that the prevalence of unfair behavior, if comparing 2013 and 2015, in principal, we can see positive changes. The brightest and most noticeable changes are seen in the assessment of honesty during tests. In 2013 more than half (54%) of students were convinced that the use of notes was widespread or more prevalent at their faculty. 2In 015 the number was 44%, in 2017 – 39%.

Kristina Balčiūnaitė, Coordinator of the Academic Affairs Committee of VDU SR, one of the organizers of “Apšvietimas”, says that in order to achieve better academic integrity indicators, it is very important for each student to know not only their specialty characteristics but also to comprehend the higher education as a process: “The goal of our project is not only to focus on the current issue, but also to encourage students to become interested in the Bologna process, to go beyond the Law on Science and Studies so that they understand their rights and obligations as students”.

“Apšvietimas” consists of two stages. The first exam is on November 21st, and will be held remotely. The second stage of the examination and the conference will be held on December 6th, at Vytautas Magnus University, Kaunas.

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