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Plagiarism to become a crime

EVEN THOUGH students can be threatened with the loss of their qualification and title if a court rules that they copied their thesis from someone else, a new amendment to the University Act prepared by the Education Ministry does not contain any measure to penalise other fraudulent ways of gaining titles, the Sme daily reported.

EVEN THOUGH students can be threatened with the loss of their qualification and title if a court rules that they copied their thesis from someone else, a new amendment to the University Act prepared by the Education Ministry does not contain any measure to penalise other fraudulent ways of gaining titles, the Sme daily reported.

Education Minister Eugen Jurzyca said that it would be too difficult for his ministry to punish all dubious ways of receiving educational titles, but said he had asked Justice Minister Lucia Žitňanská to amend the Penal Code to make frauds involving plagiarism in receiving a university diplomas a crime. Jurzyca said he believes that the new amendment will increase the quality of Slovakia’s universities and colleges. As well as new penalties for plagiarism it contains several other changes, setting fees for education programmes held in foreign languages, abolishing limits on school fees and prolonging study periods for external students.

The ministry also plans to create lists of university employees and publish them on the internet. Students will thereby be able to find out whether their lecturers also teach at other schools, the TASR newswire reported. In addition, Jurzyca wants to loosen the rules for appointing lecturers and professors, so that people with adequate experience but who lack a particular qualification will be allowed to fill such posts.

The amendment does not contain any measure that would abolish final exams, Sme wrote. Jurzyca made concessions to his critics and allowed schools to decide whether they want to have final exams or whether they will let students defend their theses.


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