The study, titled The “copy paste” Universities: plagiarism and academic deception in Romanian higher education – the students’ perspective, presents an analysis at European level of how plagiarism is approached by EU states, a thorough analysis of academic imposture cases in Romania and the national legal framework governing this area.
The numerous scandals of plagiarism, especially those that had as main actors high officials in public administration, have damaged the external perception of Romanian higher education, causing invaluable damage to its image. Faced with other systemic problems, like underfunding, the universities, committees and councils responsible for managing acts of plagiarism and academic imposture failed to control this, proving that the system lacks, beyond the national legislation, a real spirit of academic excellence and fairness.
Moreover, the picture of academic imposture was completed recently by news of professors from a considerable number of state and private universities from Romania who endorsed with their prestige scientific work of inmates that, most often, are of doubtful quality and have nothing in common with real scientific research.
Unfortunately, the lack of preventive measures in cases of intellectual theft and the lack of training of pupils and students in the spirit of ethics and academic integrity, means that they won’t find any moral guidelines as models, often leading to situations where education beneficiaries resort to such practices.
Therefore, ANOSR proposes the evaluation of doctoral schools, reopening of discussions on the Code of doctoral studies and tightening the process of habilitation, namely the introduction of a periodic evaluation of doctoral coordinators. We also demand harsher punishments for those responsible, transparency and a considerable improvement in the work of the committees with attributes in ethics and academic integrity and the development and implementation of institutional mechanisms to prevent and combat plagiarism through educational programs.
We consider important to implement an online platform containing all information relating to the doctoral schools, but also containing the theses of bachelor, master and doctoral students from Romania, free of charge. Finally, it is important to suspend the legal provision that allows inmates to shorten their sentences in exchange for writing alleged scientific papers.