More than half have heard about academic integrity issues from their lecturer or university staff
Male students exhibit a higher level of awareness regarding academic skills workshops, while female students show greater familiarity with the concept of avoiding plagiarism.
In a recent study commissioned by world-leading student success service Studiosity and conducted by independent research agency TGM, nearly 90% of university students across both UAE and Saudi Arabia say they feel confident to approach their university any time about getting help with an assignment.
The Middle Eastern Student Wellbeing Survey, the first of its kind in the region, received 1,054 responses from university students (523 respondents from the United Arab Emirates and 531 respondents from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia). It explored students’ attitudes, behaviours, and general wellbeing as these relate to their studies.
Cheating as a self-reportable topic can have limitations and these are recognised. The anonymous nature of this survey sought to overcome some of these. With a focus on self-reported awareness rather than own behaviour, this study seeks to contribute additional perspectives on this critical issue for the Higher Education sector in the Middle East.
The proportion of UAE respondents who claim they are aware of other people cheating is 52% in 2022. While over half of students admitting that they knew another student who has cheated is concerning, the survey also highlights the importance of promoting academic integrity and provides actionable insights for educators.
The survey found that 92% of students also had some awareness of academic integrity issues - from how to avoid plagiarism, to the consequences of cheating, and where to get referencing help. The majority had heard of these issues from a university staff member, showing a promising trend of open communication within institutions about academic integrity. There were some differences between male and female respondents, with male students having a higher level of awareness regarding workshops available from their university, while female students showed greater familiarity with the concept of avoiding plagiarism.
Commenting on these results, Dr Zeenath Reza Khan, Founding President and Board Member of the ENAI WG Centre for Academic Integrity in the UAE, and Assistant Professor of
Responsible Information Systems at University of Wollongong in Dubai notes, “Academic integrity is the foundation of education. To this end, the survey results indicate a positive trend in students’ confidence to avoid unintentional plagiarism and the efforts made by educational institutions to address academic integrity. In my opinion, it is important to continue promoting awareness and providing comprehensive support to all students. This includes ensuring equal access to academic skills workshops and fostering a culture of academic integrity that transcends gender differences.”
About the 2023 Middle Eastern Student Wellbeing Study
This survey was conducted by TGM Research among 1,054 university students in the UAE and KSA. The survey ran from December 21st, 2022, to January 19th, 2023, and gained a total of 523 respondents from UAE and 531 respondents from KSA. All responses were gathered from university students aged 18 to 40 years old who speak English and consisted of a mix of both domestic (33% for UAE and 40% for KSA) and international (67% for UAE and 60% for KSA) students. Data has been weighted to match a nationally representative profile of students by gender.
Studiosity partners with universities to grow student success at scale, through 24/7 formative writing feedback and instant study chat. The company currently works with more than 80% of Australian universities, as well as universities in the UK, Canada, and UAE to connect students to experts or peers, helping millions to progress and succeed with their studies, regardless of their study mode, background, personal circumstances or location.
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