Africa to address plagiarism

ACADEMICS from across Africa will unite to discuss plagiarism prevention and detection at a unique event.

The first ever series of African Academic Integrity Seminars will be held in South Africa this month.

The event is being hosted by Turnitin, the world-leading originality checking and plagiarism prevention tool used by millions of students and thousands of institutions internationally.

The free events will take place on May 20 and 24 at the universities of Cape Town and Johannesburg respectively. There will be an additional seminar on May 23 for university heads.

Will Murray, Vice President of Turnitin International said: “Plagiarism is a growing problem, not just in Africa, but globally.

"These seminars are a unique opportunity to share best practice and experience on plagiarism."

"The meeting for university Vice Chancellors and Deputy Vice Chancellors will bring together some of the most influential figures in African academia and provide a forum for discussion about how Africa is addressing plagiarism."

"Sharing research, experiences and international perspectives is key to creating a culture of honesty in academia."

Participants at the seminars will include both current users of Turnitin as well as those who wish to learn about the benefits of using the system.

Olugbenro Oyekan, Executive Vice President at the International School of Management, Lagos, said: “Students and scholars across academic institutions in Africa are increasingly aware and involved in the campaign for academic integrity and anti-plagiarism.

"Honesty in scholarship should transcend geography and culture and Africa seems as ready for that as the rest of the world."

Guest speakers will include Dr Cath Ellis from the University of Huddersfield, who will talk about her institution’s use of Turnitin as part of its e-assessment strategy; and Stella Orim from the University of Coventry.

Ms Orim will present the findings of research she conducted last year with Nigerian postgraduates studying at a UK university.

The study highlighted a lack of awareness about plagiarism and suggested a need for an institutional plagiarism mitigation system in Nigeria.

Last month, training began in Nigeria after it became the first country in Africa to adopt the Turnitin software on a nationwide basis.

Turnitin is working in partnership with the Committee of Vice Chancellors of Nigerian Universities (CVC) to roll out the technology across the country.

In the UK, Turnitin is now used by 98% of UK higher education institutions, following a national government funded initiative.

Recent data showed that the nationwide rollout, coupled with best practice guidance, has led to a 59% reduction in unoriginal essay content since 2005.

To register for the events please visit Eventbrite

For further information please contact Caroline Smith, Communications and PR Officer on (0044) (0)845 643 0105 or email intmedia@turnitin.com