Plagiarism is a constantly recurring challenge with which the academic community is faced. Foremost it is and was considered a major breach of academic integrity as well as it undermines the foundational pillars of quality education, science and research.
Thanks to new technologies, it became increasingly easier to find and prove instances of plagiarism in academic works. Due to those developments, there are now numerous cases being revealed. Politicians and other influential people are found to have obtained degrees in a highly questionable way. Those people are supposedly forming the political culture and are shaping the public discourse about the future of the country.
It is of utmost importance that the role models of us and our society are able to reflect on their past and bare consequences of their actions, especially in cases when they fail to prove the credible way of acquiring their title.
In cases when the work is evidently plagiarized or compiled it is naturally expected that conclusions are to be drawn instead of cowardly ignoring critical voices of journalist and the academic community. The expectations are even greater in the case of high position politicians.
The European Students’ Union condemns any practice that goes against these principles and sends a clear signal to the public, that those actions are wrong and unfair toward those decent and hardworking students as well as professors. We support any steps that would introduce new legislation, which would allow revoking a degree in cases of plagiarism or any other violation as outlined by legislation at that time.
In several countries, there is an alarming trend of introducing limitations to the investigation of the integrity of the academical work. For instance, banning retrospective revoking of academic titles after a certain amount of years. These initiatives are posing a great danger and we, the representatives of the European students, strongly condemn these proposals and consider them as an act of disrespect to all students, graduates and researchers who have made the required efforts to develop honest scientific papers. The enacting of these proposals will restrict the control of almost all academic work completed by the current political elite and other influential people. The academical authorities are to act and investigate independently and respectively punish, in all cases of plagiarism and other misconduct, regardless of the time period.
Proposed by: ANOSR, SRVS
Seconded by: DSF