Prof. Peter Okebukola, a former Executive Secretary of the National Universities Commission (NUC), while delivering a lecture in Kwara State University recently, stated that over sixty per cent of projects written by undergraduates in their final year were plagiarized.
Okebukola said the rate of plagiarism, as a form of academic corruption, at the Masters degrees level was between fifteen and twenty per cent, while it was eight per cent at the PhD level.
Reports revealed that undergraduates had the largest number of plagiarized works and also revealed how to put an end to it in tertiary institutions.
In his reaction, a lecturer at the University of Benin, Dr. Daniel Ekhareafo, revealed the tricks used by students to submit plagiarized long essays.
“They could go to another school, get an old project and submit the topic to you for approval. After approval, they then copy the project. Some do not even know how to change the locations in the text.
“As a lecturer, you will notice that in most of the copied works there are very few mistakes. Also, the references don’t go beyond a particular year, 2010 for example, because that was probably when the copied work was done,” he stated.
The lecturer said the punishment given to students found to have plagiarized another person’s project range from giving the student a different topic to loss of studentship. It would however help, if lecturers stopped interfering in the enforcement of disciplinary actions.
Also, a lecturer at Veritas University, Abuja, Prof. Hyacinth Ichoku, on his own part, said the problem probably persisted because students were not taught the ethics of research.
He added that lecturers, who plead for students found wanting in such areas of academic corruption should be banished from the academia.
“Some lecturers don’t realize they are promoting plagiarism with this kind of action. When a lecturer intervenes, they are more or less condoning the act and such should not be allowed in academics,” he stated.