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Education

The Problem With Plagiarism in South Korea

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South Korean parents pray during a special service to wish for their children's success on the College Scholastic Ability TestSouth Korean parents pray during a special service to wish for their children's success on the College Scholastic Ability Test
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South Korean parents pray during a special service to wish for their children's success on the College Scholastic Ability Test
South Korean parents pray during a special service to wish for their children's success on the College Scholastic Ability Test

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This is the VOA Special English Education Report.
 
South Korea's education system is highly respected. But there are concerns that academic dishonesty could harm its image in the world. That dishonesty includes cases of falsified research. And in recent months, two South Korean lawmakers have faced accusations that they copied work for their doctoral dissertations.
 
Of course, problems like these are not limited to South Korea. In April, Hungary's President Pal Schmitt resigned after a Hungarian university withdrew his doctoral title. A committee found that most of the pages of his dissertation on the modern Olympics "were either direct translations or showed partial similarity to other works."
 
 Mr. Kim is a graduate student at Korea University who asked to be identified only by his family name. He says Koreans may not have a well-established understanding of plagiarism. He attended schools in the United States and says Americans seemed to understand that claiming other people's work as their own is wrong.
 
MR. KIM: "In Korea, that history may not be as long. So there still isn't a huge consensus, in general, amongst all Koreans as to what plagiarism actually means. What is the extent of plagiarism and whether plagiarism itself is acceptable or not."
 
A VOA reporter asked South Korea's education minister, Lee Ju-ho, how seriously he takes the problem of plagiarism. Mr. Lee said the problem is not as bad as it used to be. He says these incidents gained a lot of attention seven or eight years ago. But he says the problem has mainly disappeared since then because of increased awareness and training. Still, the education minister says he wants to put more effort into eliminating plagiarism.
 
Mr. Kim, the graduate student, says current efforts to educate college students about plagiarism are not very effective.
 
MR. KIM: "Korean universities usually have at least one class or some kind of seminar in the beginning of the semester to talk about plagiarism. But as far as I know it is also quite optional. So there are a lot of people who just do not go to the seminar."
 
He say British and American professors who teach at South Korean colleges are helping to fight plagiarism.
 
MR. KIM: "One professor in my grad school found a student plagiarizing and automatically gave that student a zero. And I am hearing more of those [incidents] these days." 
 
Lee In-jae is a professor of ethics education at Seoul National University of Education. He says the training should start in elementary school. He says children should learn that copying their classmates' homework or not identifying their sources of information is wrong. If they understand that, he says, then they will be able to write honest papers later in life.
 
Michael Neil Shapiro, a Canadian, taught at seven different South Korean universities. "In Korea," he says, "there are both ancient and modern reasons for thinking that it's OK to use other people's ideas without giving specific credit." But, East or West, he says, one reason for plagiarism is the same: "intellectual laziness" and the hope not to be discovered.
 
And that's the VOA Special English Education Report. I'm Mario Ritter.
 
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Contributing: Steve Herman, Youmi Kim and Jerilyn Watson
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by: Michael Neil Shapiro from: Canada
06/26/2012 5:33 PM
I'd like to add a brief comment to the article on plagiarism as posted on the VOA website: Cite your source. Quote the writer’s words accurately. And finally, respect and show his meaning and true purpose in writing.

Michael Neil Shapiro
Assoc. Prof., Technical Writing (retired)


by: Monir from: Afghanistan
06/22/2012 4:53 AM
I think we should have a law which prohibits plagiarism worldwide. It is not right that one person does the work, and others takes the credit for it. People should do their best and get what they deserve. Copying other people's material is not a sign of intellectuality.


by: Takeru from: Japan
06/17/2012 1:52 PM
To our regret, plagiarism is natural thing in japan. In university and school, plagiarism often occurs. One of reasons that some students are not interested in study. I think that the government need to change more attractive education system for students.


by: Rania from: YEMEN
06/16/2012 10:25 AM
efforts need to come togather wether in Korea or other areas.


by: Vannak from: Cambodia
06/12/2012 3:52 PM
I think that plagiarism without permission is wrong and not acceptable. I support the idea that should be oriented to children about the disadvantage of plagiarism in order to make them be honest or recognize the true capacity. Adding that, we should integrate or mainstream this ideas into their parents or caregiver through all media system for better participation in eliminating plagiarism.


by: ginji from: japan
06/11/2012 5:45 AM
it often said in Japan that Korean poeple think the most important thing is academic background.because it decides their social satus.I think those who do plagiarism have no choice but to do that puressured by academic background.it is the ture that it is very wrong,but if they exterminate plagiarism,they should change thier thinking of academic background.


by: Halil from: Turkey
06/10/2012 7:51 AM
Unfortunately, Plagiarism is a common problem around the world, even in USA. lt is based on humanity; wherever there are people, it is possible to face with the events like that. My warming for people to think to make some studies coppy is that one day it is exactly recognised by others. So never think to make such a mistake.


by: Tuan Anh from: Vietnam
06/08/2012 6:19 PM
Plagiarism is very common in Vietnam Education System.

70% graduate students in Vietnamese Universities is plagiarism. Some universities, the number is even higher 100%, specially night classes.


by: Ryo
06/08/2012 2:34 PM
In such university and school, plagiarizm oftern occurs, I think, bucause of just laziness to study. One of reasons that students get to hold the laziness is boring programs in education, which do not making students attracted to learn. So, I think efforts of changing education programs more interesting for students are also needed.


by: yoshi from: Sapporo
06/08/2012 1:11 PM
The photo shown this article seems to me meaningful when I think about the differences of purposes of praying kneeing in front of god between western christianity and eastern confucianism in China and Korea or shintohism in Japan. What do you eastern people pray in front of god? I suppose you may apologize for your sin, for example your jealousy, proud and selfishness. We Japanese, when we go to shrine and pray on the beginning day of a new year as a annual manner, ask the god to make our wishes come true, for example, keeing health, no traffic accident, succsess in exams and promotion in buisiness of our family members. It's just like South Korean people in this photo. I think these differences indicate that western people are self-confident, self-help desiring people, contrary eastern people are self-modest, others-help desiring people. I'm sorry I'm not enough good at writing English to express my abstractive impression to persuade other people.


do o

In Response

by: Salman Iqbal from: Lahore, Pakistan
06/16/2012 7:31 AM
Dear Yoshi, from Sapporo: This is just to reassure you that your ideas are wonderful, and your written English is at least good enough to be understood by other people. Keep it up!

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