Living up to its reputation of providing an education of international quality, Abu Dhabi University’s Office of Academic Integrity (OAI) has achieved a new record in dramatically reducing the number of academic violations on both Abu Dhabi and Al Ain campuses since its inception in 2009. As a result of the concerted efforts of the OAI to stress the importance and educate ADU students about the significance of academic integrity in relation to the quality of their education and international recognition of their degree, academic violations including cheating, plagiarism and collusion have been reduced from 334 violations in the academic year 2009 -2010 to 48 violations in the academic year 2012- 2013, confirming the University’s commitment to world-class standards of its educational outcomes as do most prestigious institutions of higher education around the world.
Commenting on the importance of combating academic misconduct, Dr. Nabil Ibrahim Chancellor of Abu Dhabi University explained that since its inception in 2003, the University had academic integrity policies in place that encouraged students, staff and faculty to maintain the highest standards of integrity and transparency, on both the professional and personal level. “In 2009, the Office of Academic Integrity was established to develop a clear foundation and implement policies and regulations that combat, regulate and respond to academic violations, especially with Abu Dhabi University’s ongoing commitment to improving the quality of academic performance and apply all aspects of academic integrity as a major part of its strategy. With its establishment, the Office of Academic Integrity issued documents and policies that spread awareness and clarified its educational role in combating academic offenses and defined the different sanctions that depend on the severity and type of violation which could in some cases lead to dismissals as the most egregious type of academic integrity violation”, added Dr. Ibrahim.
“We continuously strive to spread awareness and educate our students on the importance of committing to acts that uphold academic integrity, we want them to be honest regardless of whether someone is watching them or not. The OAI also organizes several workshops, awareness campaigns and visits to lecture halls and classrooms on both University campuses with the beginning of each semester, to educate newly admitted students and remind returning students of the violations they might commit if unaware of the penalties and damages the penalties that result from them, including affecting the reputation of their degree since higher education results are insignificant once they’re gained through dishonest means. Faculty are also educated and trained on how to uncover cases of plagiarism through a specific software program used by ADU for this purpose”, said Dr. Ibrahim. He asserted that Abu Dhabi University doesn’t and will not compromise when it comes to standards of academic integrity, especially since its main aim is to graduate qualified cadres equipped with the greatest academic and professional ethics to become the best ambassadors of Abu Dhabi University in the labor market.
Dr. Ibrahim explained that the Office of Academic Integrity has succeeded in reducing violations related to cheating from 76 cases out of a total of 4237 students enrolled at the University during the academic year 2009-2010, to 19 cases out of 5184 students enrolled at ADU in the academic year 2012 -2013. Furthermore, plagiarism cases have dropped from 196 cases in the year 2009 - 2010 to only 4 cases in the academic year 2012-2013.
On his part, Dr. Ali Azad Director of ADU’s Al Ain Campus and Interim Head of the Office of Academic Integrity pointed out that since the inception of OAI spreading awareness in the student community on the importance of academic integrity principles has been one of its main activities, in an effort to reduce the rates of academic violations drastically with each semester. He explained that the OAI has managed to achieve its goals through education, counseling and following up with students. A number noteworthy of mentioning is the drop in the number of students who have been dismissed for cheating from 28 cases in the year 2009 to 2010 to 14 cases in the academic year 2012-2013.