A recent survey indicates that even Harvard University students are prone to academic dishonesty.
The summary, published in Harvard’s campus newspaper, came a year after half of a 250-student class was accused of cheating on a take-home final, Time reports.
According to the summary, 10 percent of the 1,300 freshmen questioned admit they have cheated on an exam, and 17 percent said they have cheated on a paper or take-home assignment.
42 percent of respondents, reports the survey, admit to cheating on a homework assignment.
According to Time, these high percentages are likely to cause anxiety among “worried academics” who fear the numbers will provoke media speculation. Pundits are likely to assign blame to other factors, Time reports, such as student access to new technologies. These high percentages may also reflect the tendency of students to imitate the dishonest tendencies of their parents.
Or, says Time, the numbers may simply refelct the deteriorating values of modern America.
“While the vast majority of Harvard and other students do their work honestly,” Harvard representative Jeff Neal explained, “beginning this year, Harvard College has implemented a new, more robust strategy of communicating with all students, particularly first-year students, about the importance — and the ways to achieve — academic integrity.”
Despite such high numbers of academic dishonesty, 84 percent of students questioned claim that academic work is their highest priority.