My view on academic integrity

My view on academic integrity

Stella McIntosh is the University’s principal adviser for academic integrity, and explains why it’s important in this myView blog post.

Kia ora, I’m Stella.

The terms academic integrity and academic misconduct are often used interchangeably, but they shouldn’t be.  

Academic integrity is defined as honouring the values of honesty, trust, fairness, respect in learning, teaching, and research. Having a good understanding of it will help you succeed at uni. Academic misconduct occurs when there is a breach of academic integrity. It’s when things go wrong—intentionally and accidentally. 

Academic integrity is then not something to be afraid of or worry about—but something to strive for. It’s a framework for you to contribute to discourse and research in a meaningful way, and a reminder that your learning journey is your achievement. Lecturers set tasks because they want to hear your ideas and your voice, not someone else’s. Getting things right or wrong and getting feedback is how you develop your skills and knowledge, and approaching this work with integrity is the only way to truly know that you’ve got the skills you need to succeed both here and beyond.  

It means that when you get that piece of paper at the end of all this, you can be satisfied that it’s all yours. 

Academic misconduct often happens when students feel they don’t have another option or don’t see the value in doing the work, but it’s important to be aware of the pitfalls of it. It’s something that can have long term consequences for both your studies and your future career.  

Engaging in academic misconduct could mean you lose marks, fail a course, or even be expelled from the University. Engaging with a contract cheating provider puts you at risk of blackmail or extortion, and in some industries, especially law, you’re required to declare any academic misconduct cases, meaning one mistake could follow you for a lot longer than you might anticipate. 

All this to say, there are always other options. 

If you feel stressed or you’re unable to get work done on time, talk to your lecturer. If you need support writing, referencing, or with time management, the student learning team are here for exactly that reason. VUWSA, Āwhina, The Library—Te Pātaka Kōrero, there are so many people and groups here to help you succeed and get the absolute most out of your studies—don’t be afraid to talk to them. 

There is so much support available to help you succeed and to get the most out of your time here. Academic integrity is just one piece of the puzzle, but it’s an important one. 

Find out more about academic integrity and the support available to students on the Student Learning website. 

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