Man standing in front a building with national flags flying behind him.

Professor Michael Draper during his visit to the Council of Europe in Strasbourg.

A group of Swansea law interns have been helping shape the debate around academic integrity by sharing their views with higher education professionals.

The students from the Hillary Rodham Clinton School of Law worked with Professor Michael Draper on the latest edition of the Quality Compass, an online series published by the UK Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA), the higher education Institutional membership organization. 

Zoë Birch, Megan Croombs and Elenor Marano also took part in roundtable sessions for the QAA on new legislation making commercial contract cheating service illegal while doing a short paid internship through the University’s Employability Academy. 

Elenor, who is in Swansea as part of its dual programme with Trent University in Canada, said she was pleased to have the chance to find out more about academic integrity.

She said: “It's a term I thought I was familiar with, but I had a limited understanding of how it played into the law. I wanted to get involved because I was curious and knew that the pursuit of filling the gaps in my knowledge could show me an entirely new perspective and field. 

“I'm in the process of completing a dual degree in Politics and Law at Trent and Swansea so learning that this issue related to both and also had relevant political ties was intriguing, to say the least. Since completing this project, an entirely new realm of law has opened up to me. 

“More often than not, academic integrity is dealt with passively by students - and I was no exception. However, what I know now has changed my perspective and how I engage with my peers about it too. Academic integrity is about taking pride in one's work, it's about originality and creativity.”  

Professor Draper, Deputy Pro Vice Chancellor Education (Academies), is an expert in the field of academic integrity and was part of the University team which produced high-profile research into the extent of contract cheating in higher education.

Professor Draper is at the forefront of highlighting issues around academic integrity and recently presented to delegates of the 45 member states of the Council of Europe in Strasbourg on the recommendation countering education fraud which he helped to draft. 

He has also taken part in in podcasts for the Irish Academic Integrity Network and another for QAA which is set to be released next month as well as presenting at an European Distance Learning Network event examining issues surrounding integrity and online assessment.


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