Plagiarism in African Universities: Causes and Solutions

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According to a study by Tunitin, a company specialized in plagiarism detection, 58% of students claim to have used plagiarism at least once during their schooling. These figures can rise depending on the country.

Plagiarism is a recurrent practice in universities around the world, including in Africa. In a context of high pressure and expectations, students may be tempted to copy or reuse the work of others without citing their sources. This practice can have serious consequences, ranging from poor grades to expulsion from the university.

A number of causes of plagiarism can be cited to try to understand this growing phenomenon, especially in the digital age. We can cite among others:

  • Incentives to plagiarize: teachers who offer their services to students to write their internship reports and dissertations in order to make ends meet in a low-income context, especially in Africa 
  • Time pressure: Students may be tempted to plagiarize when they are under pressure to complete an assignment on time. Or students who hold down odd jobs to get by while pursuing their academic studies but cannot manage both demands perfectly
  • Lack of research skills: Students who are not familiar with research techniques may be tempted to copy and paste information from online sources.
  • Lack of understanding: Students who do not understand the requirements of an assignment may be tempted to plagiarize to avoid losing points.
  • Lack of motivation: Students who are not motivated to complete an assignment may be tempted to plagiarize to avoid wasting time and energy.
  • Ease of access: Students may be tempted to plagiarize when they have easy access to online sources and are not closely supervised.

In order to prevent and detect plagiarism, many universities, especially in Anglophone Africa, have implemented awareness programs and detection tools such as the anti-plagiarism software Turnitin. However, the issue of plagiarism is not limited to students. Professors and researchers can also be accused of plagiarism if they do not properly cite their sources. 

It is important for universities to have clear policies in place that encourage full research and proper citation of sources. This should include academic integrity training for students and faculty, as well as strict penalties for those who commit plagiarism. 

In addition, plagiarism may also be a cultural problem in some parts of Africa. Some societies consider copying a normal practice, even in an academic context. This underscores the importance of educating students, faculty, and university administrations about the importance of academic integrity.

This is where EduAir, through its anti-plagiarism system, comes into play. EduAir, through its network of partner universities, has an anti-plagiarism system that is the result of archiving students’ internship reports and theses. This allows teachers and students to check whether a work is original or contains passages copied from other sources.

By using EduAir, universities can promote academic integrity and ensure that students are evaluated fairly and equitably. Faculty can also use the results of EduAir’s anti-plagiarism system to help students improve their research skills and avoid plagiarism in the future.

In conclusion, our anti-plagiarism system is an essential tool to fight plagiarism in universities. By using this EduAir, universities can promote academic integrity, ensure that students are evaluated fairly and equitably, and save time and resources. If you are a teacher or student, don’t hesitate to ask your university to use EduAir to ensure that your work is original and avoid accusations of plagiarism.

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