Harvard probes dozens of students on cheating allegation

Harvard probes dozens of students on cheating allegation

Harvard University said it is investigating dozens of undergraduate students over allegations of cheating on a take-home final exam in the last semester. 

The Harvard College Administrative Board is investigating allegations that a significant number of students enrolled in an undergraduate course last semester may have inappropriately collaborated on answers, or plagiarized their classmates' responses on the take-home final exam, reported Xinhua citing the Harvard Gazette. 

More than 250 students submitted the final exams at the end of the course. But the faculty member teaching the course questioned the similarities between a significant number of students' works and referred them to the university's Administrative Board. The initial investigation showed that nearly half of the students may have got involved in the allegations of cheating. 

"These allegations, if proven, represent totally unacceptable behaviour that betrays the trust upon which intellectual inquiry at Harvard depends," said Harvard University President Drew Faust. 

"We must deal with this fairly and through a deliberative process. At the same time, the scope of the allegations suggests that there is work to be done to ensure that every student at Harvard understands and embraces the values that are fundamental to its community of scholars." 

Michael D. Smith, dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, sent a letter to the university's faculty body Thursday to outline actions the faculty can take to reinforce Harvard's academic policies.

But Smith cautioned against drawing broad conclusions. "Allegations of inappropriate collaboration or plagiarism in a single class should not be allowed to diminish the good work or reputation of our outstanding student body," he said. 

The university did not identify the course or name any student allegedly involved.

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