Is Cheating in Exams at the University a Crime?
Among the numerous irregularities that occur in universities, cheating is one of the most prevalent. Students cheat through various ways, such as paying someone to take the exam for them, entering with notes into the exam room, using gadgets, or writing notes on the back of one’s hands. Impersonation, plagiarism, as well as sabotage, are other ways used to cheat in exams. Exam cheating can be categorized depending on the type of cheating, and while some forms of cheating are encapsulated in the university laws, making them straight crimes, some are not in the university constitution. Various types of cheating also constitute criminal offenses as they negate state laws. All in all, cheating in exams at the university is a crime as it not only gives one an advantage over other students but also goes against the university laws.
One of the reasons why exam cheating is a criminal offense is that it is enshrined in the university’s constitution and there are guidelines on punishment to be met. Almost all universities have a student’s code of conduct that also includes how to behave oneself in an examination setting. These rules stipulate the various forms of examination cheating such as going with electronic devices to the exam room, copying from neighbors, or leaving the examination room with an unauthorized material. These offenses are punishable under the code of conduct, and thus, whether one cheats by committing them, they are crimes under the university rules.
Some forms of examination cheating are not delineated in the University rules but are still valued as crimes due to the harm they cause to the university. Cheating undermines the quality of education in an institution, as people get grades that they have not earned. When cheating becomes rampant in a university or course, the course undergoes constraints since employers are not willing to absorb students from that course or university in the job market. Thus, this undermines the quality of education while also presenting an undue advantage over other dutiful students who did not cheat in the exams. These students are also affected when the ranking of the university is degraded, or employers begin to question the quality and do not take on students.
Besides the damage cheating does to the university and other dutiful students, it is also a crime against oneself. Cheating deprives one of the chance to learn, analyze, and solve problems as well as to clearly present one’s ideas and apply them in daily life. Students who are accustomed to cheating do not even bother to read the course material, and get out of university having acquired little in the way of knowledge despite spending their parents’ money and accumulating student loans. Cheating also deprives the students of the confidence to tackle life’s challenges full on, and this is replicated in daily life. Most of the students who cheat also replicate this in the labor market, or find that they are incompetent, leading to them getting fired. Examination cheating is therefore a crime as it deprives one of the ability to learn.
In conclusion, these various forms of cheating ranging from bribery, entering the exam room with illegal material, deception, impersonation, plagiarism, professorial misconduct, and sabotage constitute a crime since they are not only against the university code of conduct, but also harm the school and other students. In addition, examination cheating is an offense against oneself as it deprives one the chance to learn and nurture oneself.