Prof. Peter Okebukola, ex-Executive Secretary of the National Universities Commission, NUC has disclosed that over 60 per cent of long essays written by undergraduates in their final year were copied.

Okebukola disclosed this while delivering a lecture in Kwara State recently.

Delivering the lecture, Okebukola said the rate of plagiarism as a form of academic corruption at the Masters degree level was between 15 and 20 percent, while it was eight per cent at the PhD level.

He also accused lecturers who showed up to teach only 10 allotted 20 subjects in a semester and those who negotiate marks with students of being academically corrupt.

Reacting to this, Dr. Daniel Ekhareafo from the University of Benin revealed tricks used by students to submit copied long essays.

He noted that the students would go to another school to get their old projects and submit the topic for approval, adding that some do not even know how to change the locations in the text.

In his words; “They could go to another school, get an old project and submit the topic to you for approval. After approval, they then copy that 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, references don’t go beyond a particular year, 2010 for example, because that was probably when the copied work was done.

Speaking on possible solution, Ekhareafo said the only way to solve the issue of copied work is too give the student a different topic or loss of studentship.

“If the lecturer is nice, he could give the student a different topic and if he or she doesn’t finish before the end of the given period, the student will face the music. Otherwise, it is an examination offence and the student can be made to appear before a disciplinary panel and lose his or her studentship.

“But that rarely happens because that student can ask another lecturer to plead with the project supervisor and in some cases, the lecturer can compromise and ask for money in order to clear the student.”

A lecturer at Veritas University in Abuja, Prof. Hyacinth Ichoku, on his part, said the problem probably persisted because students were not taught the ethics of research.

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