The Global Academic Integrity Network has been established

Photo Mairéad Boland

On 18 October, an international conference was held in Dublin to commemorate the anniversary of 10 years of the Irish Quality and Qualifications Agency (QQI). Attention was paid to higher education issues from the perspective of students. Simon Harris, Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science of Ireland, stressed that a fair acquisition of qualifications and degrees is essential for assurance of higher education quality. All the interested parties have to attempt to counter contract cheating within their field of competence. The Minister stressed that the reputation of national higher education is reflected not only by its quality; the provisions of academic integrity and their effective application also become important. While giving a speech about the beginning of the Global Academic Integrity Network, he invited delegates to look deeper into the reasons why the students choose the easiest way – to cheat. The Minister encouraged providing greater support to the students so they could understand better what academic integrity is, and how to comply with it. He also urged including students into assessment of higher education quality. Minister Simon Harris finished his speech with the idea that the problems of higher education can be solved when approached jointly.

The main initiators and founders of the Global Academic Integrity Network are the QQI (Ireland), and the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency (Australia). The organisations from the United Kingdom, Lithuania, Hungary, Zambia, and other countries were invited to join the network. Invitations were also sent to UNESCO and the Council of Europe Platform on Ethics, Transparency and Integrity in Education (ETINED).

The Office of the Ombudsperson was invited to join the Global Academic Integrity Network. The ombudswoman, Dr Loreta Tauginienė, took part in the opening event of the network. She presented a poster on the activities of the Office of the Ombudsperson in the field of administrative offences and the survey conducted by the Office of the Ombudsperson in 2021, ‘Supply of contract cheating services in Lithuania’.