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The results are in: the 3rd annual International Day of Action Against Contract Cheating on October 17th surpassed all expectations. Individuals and institutions the world over came together to acknowledge outrage caused by the contract cheating industry. From North and South America to Australia, Europe, Africa, and the Middle East, people were moved to engage in dialogue and voice their concerns about the growing practice threatening to undermine the value of our educational systems. Turnitin partnered with International Center for Academic Integrity (ICAI) to launch a pledge to rally people together around the issue. We spread the word on social. We supported ICAI's encouragement of local and live events on campuses large and small. It was truly remarkable and the numbers share the story:

IDoA by the Numbers

  • 88 institutions worldwide
  • 64 different countries
  • 950+ pledge signatures
  • 365+ student pledges

88 institutions united to take this unethical industry head-on by partnering directly with ICAI. They ranged from secondary and higher education programs to research facilities and government offices; small colleges and large universities to groups of concerned citizens of every size. They hosted events on their campuses to grow awareness around contract cheating and to cultivate strong communities of academic integrity.

The world is waking up to this egregious practice; people are outraged and it’s not just institutions and instructors: it’s students who want to ensure that their degree retains value long after they graduate. Over 950 individuals signed our pledge in partnership with the International Center for Academic Integrity, nearly 370 of whom were students, taking a stand and saying no to contract cheating. After signing the pledge, many conveyed their reasons for joining ICAI and Turnitin in the battle against this unethical practice:

“Honesty, effort, and growth produce a valuable, long-term change in life and for society. Short term contacting devalues the system, the cause, and the individual.” (Higher Education Student, UK)

“I would rather succeed through my own hard work than use others’ work to get ahead. (Higher Education Student, USA)

“We need to create a better community… Writing with integrity will create better citizens.” (Secondary Education Teacher, Ecuador)

"Learning is the just reward of the application of effort in the face of a tough challenge. Too often individuals and institutions focus on the end result (degree, diploma etc...). This type of cheating, aside from all the ills listed, cheats the individual as it robs them of the sense of accomplishment and the confidence that it engenders. Integrity isn't just about right and wrong, it is a path to self-fulfillment." (Higher Education Administrator, Canada)

Inspired, individuals took to social media as well, posting their whiteboard declarations on Twitter using the hashtags #excelwithintegrity and #defeatthecheat. Tricia Bertram Gallant, Director of the UC San Diego Academic Integrity Office and Board Member of the International Center for Academic Integrity, acknowledged in her recent blog the enormous challenge our communities face in dismantling the contract cheating industry. And while the 3rd Annual International Day of Action was just a small step in a long and arduous journey, it was truly a significant one:

“Together, our small wins will change the landscape of education. Together, we will continue to plant the seeds of integrity within our communities. Then together we must condition the teaching and learning soil so the seeds have nourishment off of which to feed. And finally, if together we foster institutional environments that support integrity propagation, we will be able to fight the forces that seek to destroy true and meaningful education.”

October 17th illustrated how global institutions, educators, students, and industry partners are taking the threat of contract cheating seriously. As participants in and protectors of our educational systems, it’s clear we care deeply about upholding integrity and safeguarding quality learning. And now that you’ve signed the pledge, it’s time for the next steps:

  • Continue to educate yourself on the rising threat of contract cheating
  • Partner with ICAI and Turnitin to help convey the urgency around the rise of this unethical behavior
  • Participate in events that spread awareness and continue to be a model of integrity in the classroom, on campus, and beyond

Let’s take this stand, let’s work together, and let’s see what we can accomplish between now and next year’s International Day of Action.