Dozens suspended for Harvard cheating

2013-02-02 08:31
Professor Robert Kirshner holds up a piece of pie while explaining a pie chart about the universe, shortly before eating it, during a performance at the Ig Nobel Prize ceremony at Harvard University. (Charles Krupa, AP)

Professor Robert Kirshner holds up a piece of pie while explaining a pie chart about the universe, shortly before eating it, during a performance at the Ig Nobel Prize ceremony at Harvard University. (Charles Krupa, AP)

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New York - Around 60 students at Harvard University have been suspended and others disciplined in a mass cheating scandal at the elite college, the administration said on Friday.

Faculty of Arts and Sciences dean Michael Smith told staff and students at the university near Boston that "somewhat more than half" of the cases under investigation ended with students being required "to withdraw from the college for a period of time".

"Of the remaining cases, roughly half the students received disciplinary probation, while the balance ended in no disciplinary action," Smith said in a campus-wide e-mail.

When the scandal first became public in August, Harvard said that as many as 125 students were suspected of helping each other in a final exam.

The university said a large number of undergraduates "may have inappropriately collaborated on answers, or plagiarised classmates' responses, on the final exam for the course".

Harvard, located in Cambridge, Massachusetts, is one of the most exclusive universities in the world, with students paying about $63 000 a year to attend after winning a place in a highly competitive admissions process.

Smith called the scale of the cheating incident "unprecedented" and said reforms were being drawn up to "promote academic integrity and a deeper understanding of it within our community".

"We all can do better," he said in the e-mail.
- SAPA
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