Unisa investigates another cheating scandal

Unisa is reported to be investigating yet another cheating scandal. Picture: Henk Kruger/African News Agency (ANA)

Unisa is reported to be investigating yet another cheating scandal. Picture: Henk Kruger/African News Agency (ANA)

Published Mar 18, 2024


Unisa is reported to be investigating yet another cheating scandal.

This comes after eNCA reported that Unisa is currently investigating thousands of students accused of plagiarism, following suspected copying and cheating detected by the university’s online testing system.

Reports indicate that Unisa’s online platform has flagged more than 15 000 instances of potential plagiarism during tests, prompting the institution to take swift action to address the matter.

One student told eNCA that the investigation against him had affected his morale, while the Unisa Student Representative Council (SRC) revealed that some students may indeed be guilty of academic misconduct.

This is not the first time this has happened. Last December, students cried foul over the same issues, with those who spoke to The Star revealing their frustrations with the university’s invigilator app.

“I also encountered the same invigilator app problem with CSL2601 twice this year. Same problem in May/June exam and now Oct/Nov exams,” one student told The Star.

Another student accused the university of withholding her results unfairly after writing her online exams in October.

“On the 4th October this year we had an English exam. We used the invigilator app, followed every instruction, was never flagged by the app. We submitted on time the correct document, so everything was good, but the results came with a zero mark.”

The distance learning institution has indicated that it will root out “unethical behaviour” during assessments, with the university saying such actions damage Unisa’s long-standing reputation and undermine the hard work of honest students.

At the time, it was reported that affected students would have to retake their exams.

With the shift from venue-based to online exams, an uptick in cheating and plagiarism cases has been noted.

Attempts to get further comment from Unisa were unsuccessful at the time of going to print.

However, Unisa said previously that the rules of using its online system were carefully explained to all students.

“The invigilator app is a critical proctoring tool used by the university for the invigilation of online examinations. The usage of the app and the attendant rules are very important and necessary to uphold the credibility of our examinations and protect the integrity of our qualifications. It is one of the aspects of the assessment process that the university cannot compromise on.

“Prior to the commencement of the examinations, the rules about the usage of the invigilator app were clearly communicated to all students as part of our online examination rules and guidelines through various communication channels, including email, myUnisa announcements, SMS, and social media,” Unisa said in a statement.

The Star

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