Cheating and Academic Dishonesty

Cheating and academic dishonesty have proven to be really difficult issues to deal with in China. A female sophomore student at Shenyang Agricultural Univeristy in Shanghai just won a lawsuit reversing her expulsion for an admitted act of cheating on an English test. (China Daily 8/11) She apparently used her cell phone to get answers from a classmate. What’s interesting about this is that the court did find that the cheating occurred but that the punishment was too harsh and not applied in accordance with university procedures.

I have heard of other instances like this before, when students were caught cheating, the university expelled them, and a court then reversed the decision. Of course, in the U.S., expulsion would be an automatic consequences and a court would rarely second-guess such decisions (or these cases would probably not get litigated).

It’s ironic in some ways that the courts appear to be more sympathetic to students on such issues than to more serious human rights issues. Or maybe, these cases are won because they are less controversial and don’t really raise serious challenges to government power.

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