Promoting Academic Integrity

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Promoting academic integrity means acting with honesty, trust, fairness, respect, responsibility, and courage (ICAI, 2021) in any activity related to academic work and avoiding any type of cheating or dishonest behavior even when the work is especially difficult.

It is not an easy task and it should be a commitment of all: students, faculty, and institutions (see Figure 1). It involves a constant work of understanding regulations, communication, training, assessment, and promotion, but especially conviction of doing the right thing.

When people talk about academic integrity, the first thing that comes to mind is to avoid copying and plagiarism, but integrity goes much further than that; it means to seek the highest standards of excellence and learning, put our values into action and be congruent between what we think, say and do.

There are many benefits of academic integrity; just to mention a few, you create bonds of trust with your classmates and teachers, you fulfill your goals with good purpose, you take advantage of your time and money, and you give more value to your degree; but above all, you achieve the best version of yourself and contribute to a better society.

Remember that to change something, we must first begin to change it in ourselves and lead by example. The same you expect from your teachers and classmates is the same that they expect from you. If you ask for integrity, you should start with yourself by having an upright demeanor. See academic integrity as your cover letter or business card; this will open doors for you to great professional and personal opportunities.

Small actions do matter, and these will be contagious until we achieve the change we hope for. And guess what? This change can start from your classroom, but it requires responsibility and commitment, not only in doing the right thing but also raising your voice when something is not; that is also promoting academic integrity. Do not hesitate to report acts of academic dishonesty, because this will help the people who committed it to learn from their mistakes and redirect the way.

Now you may be wondering, in what ways can you promote academic integrity in your university? Here, you will learn some strategies to achieve it. To name a few:

  • Engage with your learning process: prepare for class and be on time, be responsible and enthusiastic in every assignment, study hard and accomplish your academic projects and activities with your own effort.
  • Reaffirm your commitment to academic integrity: know and comply with the regulations of your university (Honor Code, Honor Pledge, rules of conduct, values, etc.)
  • Build trust with your teachers and classmates: approach your teachers for help, clarify doubts and work fairly with your class teams.
  • Get involved in institutional campaigns to promote academic integrity: participate in activities, conferences, events and join student groups that work to foster a culture of integrity in your campus.
  • Learn about and use the resources offered by your university to support your learning: workshops, mentorships, counseling, among others.
  • Report acts of academic dishonesty: raise your voice when you see something is not right.

So, let’s begin!

The figure shows the integrity system as a spherical model. Integrity System, which is the core of the model, is divided into three parts, namely, Students, Staff, and Faculty. The outer layer of the sphere is further divided into seven segments, namely, Commitment, Values, Honor code, Institutional policy, Training, Promotion, and Assessment.

Figure 1. UDEM’s Integrity System Model
A figure shows the integrity system model.


International Center for Academic Integrity [ICAI](2021). The fundamental values of academic integrity. International Center for Academic Integrity.
Suggested Readings
Ariely, D. (2012). The (Honest) Truth about Dishonesty. Harper Perennial.
Bertram, T. (2008). Academic integrity in the twenty-first century. A teaching and learning imperative. ASHE Higher Education Report.
Bretag, T. (2013). Challenges in addressing plagiarism in education. PLoS Medicine, 10(12), 14.
Franco, N. (2017). Atreverse a pensar, un camino hacia la integridad. Fondo Editorial Universidad EAFIT.
International Center for Academic Integrity [ICAI] (2021). The fundamental values of academic integrity. International Center for Academic Integrity.