Academic cheating in Taiwan


#1

I met a Korean woman at the library of my university who is doing a master’s in English literature. I have no idea how she got into this program because her English is incredibly deficient. When she has a report to write, she always has to write it in Korean first, then translates everything into barely understandable English. What a time-consuming way to do it!

But the worst of all is that she is asking foreigner’s help (and waste their time) to correct every fucking paper she has to submit. She asked me once and I was baffled to see that she literally copies whole paragraphs from WikiPedia that she then pastes right into her papers as-is. WikiPedia! She always gets her analysis somewhere else on the Internet, it’s almost never her own creative work. Her papers are actually a collage of different paragraphs taken as-is from different sources, with some paragraphs of her own intermixed. This is a joke.

My question is: how serious Taiwanese universities are regarding cheating and plagiarism in general? Do they have policies in place to deal with that kind of practices? Do they take reporting of such practices seriously?


#2

I have a Taiwanese friend who “studied” in Australia for her business degree and then got a mail order MBA from the US. I watched her cut and paste every paper for the MBA she got and when I asked how she could do that she told me that she and her Taiwanese friends in AUS did it all the time. That being said I know quite a few North Americans who plagiarized or bought papers for their degrees and are quite happy to brag about it, one of whom is a certified teacher here.

The longer I live here the more I think this type of activity is all too common. I’ve met way too many locals who are mentally stunted yet doing graduate studies in something. It’s all about the embossed paper with your name on it and profit margins for universities.


#3

To must be right about profit motive because it would take only a minute to detect plagiarism with something as simple as a google search in most instances.


#4

U.S. universities use some sort of exam for graduate programmes. There is a computer version and a paper version. They don’t let people in a handful of East Asian countries do the computer version in their own countries because there’s a smaller number of questions and all of the answers can be found online. East Asians game the system massively. So, all the East Asians do is fly to Thailand or the Philippines (my friend’s fiancee went to the Philippines) and do it there.

It’s well known that plenty of Asians at universities in Australia get other people to write their assignments for them. The system is a joke, but the joke is as much upon the Western universities and countries who have whored themselves out like this. They are selling Asian countries the rope with which to hang the West because these Asian countries will later compete with the West (some might argue that they will be deficient, but I don’t think to enough of a degree) and also, the Western students at universities in the West must suffer also. I know that if I had studied a Bachelor of Commerce I would have been pretty pissed off having these guys in my classes, even more so if I had had to do group work with them or if they’d outscored me on assignments that they had plagiarised or got someone else to write for them.


#5

As a freelance writer, I’ve had a number of people from a number of different places looking to hire me to write their academic papers. I even had one person from the States wanting me to take his online Masters Degree in Education. He wanted me to log in under his name, participate in the discussions and write all of his assignments and tests.

I was tempted to do it just for the steady work but in the end I just couldn’t do it. I could write a paper now and then or help someone fix a paper to meet academic standards but not take the whole course.


#6

You just described some scientific papers I was asked to “proofread” Except they’re not from Wikipedia, but from other people’s published papers. The client had hired some fake English expert to “write” the papers for him, so had no idea.


#7

Who’s going to be competing with the West, the cheaters? Don’t think so. Serious students, people willing to bust their asses… that’s competition. Lazy frauds? They’re a fetter on those looking to level up.


#8

Why do you think Asians have such little respect when it comes to publishing in Academic journals? Everyone knows that 90% of their material is rehashed from somewhere. It usually gets rejected due to the ‘originality’ factor.


#9

Jaboney: Not so. They may still know enough to compete. China produces all sorts of inferior products to the West, but it’s still decimated industry in the West. That’s also a reflection on the West and its consumers.


#10

Happens in Europe too. Moroccan girl asked my Italian flatmate to write her dissertation because she couldn’t speak Italian well. He wrote it in 3 days, charged her £350 quid. Needless to say the whole thing was a piece of shit and she failed her degree. He didn’t care a shit because she should have done her own work in the first place. I also had a Malaysian student ask me to help her proofread her forensic psychology masters papers. I said it would cost her. She went into a panic, the gravy boat eyes came out and she cried tons and said she had no money. I agreed to do it for free. Spent about 10 mins looking at the first one. About 20 mins on the second. She got a 2:2 for both papers, and got the message that I wasn’t actually helping her at all. She stopped sending me the papers after that.

TURNITIN is an electronic submission system that will check every piece of information ever put on the internet and compare it against your work, it then spits out a plagiarism percentage. I suspect many universities don’t adopt it because SO MANY students globally will be effed in the a in about 10 seconds flat, and universities are already struggling financially to justify their existence. The system would probably collapse over night.


#11

[quote=“GuyInTaiwan”]U.S. universitys’ use some sort of exam for graduate programmes. There is a computer version and a paper version. They don’t let people in a handful of East Asian countries do the computer version in their own countries because there’s a smaller number of questions and all of the answers can be found online. East Asians game the system massively. So, all the East Asians do is fly to Thailand or the Philippines (my friend’s fiancee went to the Philippines) and do it there.

It’s well known that plenty of Asians at universities in Australia get other people to write their assignments for them. The system is a joke, but the joke is as much upon the Western universities and countries who have whored themselves out like this. They are selling Asian countries the rope with which to hang the West because these Asian countries will later compete with the West (some might argue that they will be deficient, but I don’t think to enough of a degree) and also, the Western students at universities in the West must suffer also. I know that if I had studied a Bachelor of Commerce I would have been pretty pissed off having these guys in my classes, even more so if I had had to do group work with them or if they’d outscored me on assignments that they had plagiarised or got someone else to write for them.[/quote]

I agree completely. But it’s not the universities fault. State funding in schools decreases year after year. Using my alma mater as an example, the proportion of funding that is cut each year tops the last year’s record high cut. By law, tuition can only be raised 10% a year for local students. The schools are making up for this lack through the higher tuition rates that international students pay. Unfortunately, having the money to sustain the school’s appearance as is trumps quality. (I graduated before this started, but even then I thought my classes were too easy…)


#12

I have a friend in a doctorate program here. His professors told him to copy stuff directly out of his sources and then just try to re-word the material for his papers. He has been doing this for years. This kind of copying is normal in many departments as far as I can tell, although I personally know of one rigorous professor who does good work; if I was in his department, I would still be in grad school here…


#13

arch: That’s a good point. In that case, universities should either be allowed to charge more to local students or the government should fund education, depending upon which model you prefer. There’s so much short term thinking involved.


#14

A cousin of my ex-gf wanted me to review one of his Master’s papers once. He had done exactly this: just re-phrased another paper that had been written by his supervisor. I get the impression that this is not only acceptable, but some sort of bizarre flattery: I suggested to him that, if he was going to do that, he should at least conclude with a critique of the algorithm (it was a machine-vision topic) and make suggestions for future research or improvements. As it was, it wouldn’t have even passed muster as an undergrad report in the UK. He was horrified, and mumbled something about just needing my help checking the english. In other words, this is the way we do it here, so please don’t interfere with your barbarian ideas. He never asked me to review anything else :slight_smile:


#15

I have had several bad experiences with academics here. The ultimate was the copy paste syndrome, you pay them to write something original and they do not even bother to try, or change something, but copy paste from actual published stuff. And since they are “untouchable” due to their “fame” -not even serniority- well, you can only fork the money and hope you never cross their path again. No shame at all.

Same teachers send their assitants to teach, because they are too busy to do so. This happens all over the world but in Taiwan it seems more “acceptable”, even more “honorable” -as in it is an honor that someone so busy would grace us with the honor of saying we attended his/her class even though he/she wasn’t physically there. Name is what matters. Most college studnets are doing what we call in Spanish “acto de presencia” -meaning show their faces, present in body but not in mind.

I blame it on politics. The people who came first at the universities had no real knowledge of the topic, they were set there to fill the space with the “right” people, not the locals. So, they were replaced by their descendants -wonder why so many civil servants are sons/daughters of civil servants-, who might have had a bit more knowledge but also a lot of entitlement attitude. These are the ones doing most of the teaching and keeping the decison making posts to themselves.

As long as the students cannot create/think for themselves/do anything but repeat the status quo, the system is intact and everything works as it has always done… Hence, no incentive to have students write original material and hence the incentive to copy paste.


#16

When I worked with professors from the biological sciences in Academia Sinica I got a good impression of their research abilities, or rather their M.Sc and PhD candidates who did the work for them. It’s not easy to hide in the sciences.

So the division of labour was the problem I had with them, that they could make a PhD student wait up to 7 years for his PhD, meanwhile they would churn out papers for the Prof!


#17

Yeah – copying your professor is expected. Not copying is disrespectful…

[quote=“headhonchoII”]When I worked with professors from the biological sciences in Academia Sinica I got a good impression of their research abilities, or rather their M.Sc and PhD candidates who did the work for them. It’s not easy to hide in the sciences.

So the division of labour was the problem I had with them, that they could make a PhD student wait up to 7 years for his PhD, meanwhile they would churn out papers for the Prof![/quote]

I’ve only had good experiences at Academia Sinica. Most professors here have nothing to do with it, though.


#18

[quote=“archylgp”]Yeah – copying your professor is expected. Not copying is disrespectful…

[quote=“headhonchoII”]When I worked with professors from the biological sciences in Academia Sinica I got a good impression of their research abilities, or rather their M.Sc and PhD candidates who did the work for them. It’s not easy to hide in the sciences.

So the division of labour was the problem I had with them, that they could make a PhD student wait up to 7 years for his PhD, meanwhile they would churn out papers for the Prof![/quote]

I’ve only had good experiences at Academia Sinica. Most professors here have nothing to do with it, though.[/quote]

Mostly good experience at AS. That is a first rate institution, or collection of institutions to be more precise.

But there are more than a few professors who keep the best students for way too long so they can do all their work for them. Plus, there is no way any professor can provide suitable supervision and mentoring of more than, say, three or four grad students. And there are labs with ten-fifteen poor grad students all muddling their way through without any support from the boss, or downright antagonism and stealing their work, uncredited. Shocking stuff, and part of the reason I left for better pastures. Plus the pay sucks big time.


#19

Apparently I just learned recently that there was a big scandal in Academia Sinica regarding fabricated data on peer reviewed journal articles.

Jeez. And I am working in AS.