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The Effect of Academic Integrity Policy on Students’ Perception of Academic Dishonesty: A Case of One Kazakhstani University


Academic year: 2023

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The effect of an academic integrity policy on student perceptions of academic dishonesty: The case of one Kazakh university. One of the measures aimed at solving the problem is the establishment of a culture of academic integrity with zero tolerance for any unfair practices. The primary role of policies is to reduce the number of instances of misconduct that can be committed by reinforcing negative student perceptions of academic dishonesty.

In Kazakhstan, there is little research devoted to the impact of academic integrity policies on students' perception of academic dishonesty. Therefore, the purpose of the current study is to analyze students' perceptions of academic dishonesty based on a university of Kazakhstan that implements the policy in its academic process. The study found that students are aware of various forms of academic dishonesty, but have mixed perceptions of the policy's effectiveness.


Consequently, academic dishonesty is seen as both the corruption in education and part of the whole. Nevertheless, the Minister of Education and Science of the Republic of Kazakhstan, Askhat Aimagambetov, (2019) states that he disagrees with the argument that Kazakhstani education is completely mired in corruption (as cited in Amanzhol, 2019). One of the preventive measures can be the introduction of explicit scientific integrity policy or honor codes in the academic process.

The reason why students engage in academic dishonesty may be their wrong perception of the issue. First, the university that practices academic integrity policy can benefit, as it will learn if there is a usefulness of the policy. The discussion chapter presents the findings of the study and tells how research questions were answered.

Literature review

Another reason for violations may be students' belief that there are fewer chances of being caught cheating and that the benefits are therefore higher (Simon et al., 2004). The university, which is lenient and lax towards academic violations, encourages student dishonesty due to the absence of severe and fair punishments (Jereble et al., 2018; Tatum & Schwartz, 2017). The role of teachers cannot be diminished as they are responsible for explaining the rules and forming students' attitudes towards academic integrity (Cronan et al., 2015).

The authors found that some saw it as students' responsibility and were unsure if it was their role to teach academic integrity (Löfström et al., 2015). Such a discrepancy between the different punishment measures in universities negatively affects students' perception of what constitutes dishonest behavior (Bretag et al., 2011). Since attitude was defined as the tendency to behave in relation to one's own experience and temperament (Pickens, n.d.), the conclusion can be drawn that students' attitudes toward academic integrity could influence their ethical behavior with regarding scientific violations (Cronan et al., 2015).


The purpose of the given research is to analyze students' perception of academic misconduct in a code university by revealing the relationship between students'. The study is constructed based on the analysis of previous literature on this topic. The survey was conducted among undergraduate students and included about 7% of the total undergraduate population in order to achieve more accuracy and make better generalizations of the results to the total population.

The research did not include first-year students, since at the time of the survey they did not have enough academic experience for the research because the academic period had not ended and they did not have their strong perception of academic dishonesty. After several failures, I managed to get into one of the universities and explained the purpose of my research and how I wanted to carry it out. The survey was developed based on current surveys designed by O'Neill and Pfeiffer (2012), von Dran et al. 2008) and consistent with the literature review. The survey included two sections.

A total of 196 students participated in the study, which covered approximately 8% of the total population of approximately 2400 students. Data collection only started after access was approved by the gatekeeper on behalf of the vice-rector of the university. I also explained how I would ensure the confidentiality of the university name and the students who would participate in the interview.

During survey data collection, the purpose and benefits of the research were explained to the students as well as the right not to participate if they did not want to or to return the survey blank. In fact, there were more than 190 participants, but after cleaning the data, the number decreased slightly to 156, which is only 7% of the total. The small sample size may affect the generalizability of the research and make the findings unrepresentative of the population.

Thirdly, the number of men and women in the research is not equal, therefore this is likely to influence the research findings in terms of considering gender as one of the factors influencing students' perception of academic dishonesty.

Findings of the study

Further, in the fourth section, correlation analysis was conducted to determine the relationship with the likelihood of student involvement in academic dishonesty. In terms of copying other students' work during an exam or test or simply doing homework, the majority of respondents did not support these types of cheating. The case with the most frequent 'strongly disagree' response was 'copy-pasting another student's work and submitting it as one's own work is acceptable' with 107 students.

In general, the frequency distribution analysis showed that students' attitudes towards various academic dishonesty are mostly negative. Students' attitudes towards the dependent variable "Using cribs to answer test or exam questions is acceptable" is influenced by enrollment year. Two factors likely predicted students' attitudes toward copying other students during an exam or test: gender and year of enrollment.

The PLUM defined that gender influences students' attitudes toward “copying and pasting another student's work and submitting it as their own” (p-value=.026). Another factor that influences students' dishonest behavior is the language of instruction. The relationship between students' attitudes toward academic dishonesty and the likelihood of their involvement in academically dishonest acts.

A chi-square test showed a significant relationship between students' attitudes toward using cribs and other notes during a test or exam and their involvement in it (chi-square = 79.060, df = 20, p-value =.000). The same results were found for the relationship between students' attitudes towards messenger use and the likelihood of their use. The latest examples of cheating are copying from the works of other students in a colloquium or exam and copying homework.

The association of students' attitude towards making and facilitating with their involvement in the given cases. Regarding facilitation cases, Spearman's rho correlation calculated the strong relationship between students' attitude to allow copying of their works during a test or exam and their behavior within the given variable. Overall, there is a positive relationship between attitude toward academic misconduct and students' likelihood of violating academic rules.


Regarding the students' perception of the effectiveness of the policy, the answers still vary from "not effective" to "very effective" or "other", which means "don't know". This explanation is consistent with the findings of Roig and Marks (2006), who found no changes in students' attitudes toward cheating before and after the implementation of the honor code. To explain students' perceptions of policy effectiveness, we conducted an ordinal regression.

To conclude, an academic program was found to predict students' perception of the extent to which teachers follow the AIP, meaning that there is a. inconsistency between teachers to work on the issue. 2011) and East's (2009) arguments about the absence of alignment between the policy, practice and procedure that negatively affects students' perception of academic dishonesty. The first individual factor that appeared to have an influence on students' attitudes towards breaching academic integrity was gender.

According to current research, entry year is predictive of students. attitude towards cheating in the following practices: using cribs and messengers during the test and exams and copying from other students during the test. Not consistent with Simon et al. 2004) who explain this by a commitment to university standards which. indicates upper and lower year students, i.e. length of study affects the perception of cheating among students. Last, but not least, the most important factor influencing students' attitudes towards academic dishonesty and the likelihood of violating the rules of academic integrity is the language of instruction.

Therefore, the influence of the language of instruction on students' attitudes towards cheating and facilitation and their perception of being involved in these academic offenses can serve as the subject of further research. Enrollment year was found to predict students' attitudes toward cheating, which is the most popular offense among students. Gender also acts as a risk factor to predict students' attitudes towards cheating and plagiarism as well as the likelihood of cheating during the test.

The section explains the results of bivariate analysis aimed at defining the relationship between students' attitude towards academic dishonesty and the likelihood of their involvement in academic dishonesty behaviour.


Academic integrity is a relatively new phenomenon in Kazakh education, therefore there have not been many local empirical studies on this issue. This study could be one of the first to examine students' perceptions of academic dishonesty at the Kazakh university with academic integrity policy. Finally, qualitative and/or quantitative research is recommended to analyze teachers' perceptions of their role in promoting and imparting a culture of academic integrity in Kazakh universities.

Further comprehension factors explaining first-year business students' academic integrity intention and behavior: Plagiarism and homework sharing. Corruption, the lack of academic integrity and other ethical issues in higher education: What can be done within the Bologna process. Retrieved from https://www.sydney.edu.au/students/academic-dishonesty/contract-cheating.html Transparency International.

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