Thai universities investigated over alleged research plagiarism

Supachai Pathumnakul,

Prompting concerns over the integrity of education, the Thai Bureau of Higher Learning, Scientific Enquiry, and Research Innovation (MHESI) have launched legal action against around five online portals that have been found dealing in academic plagiarism. The move comes following suspicions that close to 100 scholars linked to 33 universities may have obtained research papers from the Internet.

The Deputy Secretary of MHESI, Supachai Pathumnakul, reported that an investigation of 109 scholars for alleged academic plagiarism has been set in motion. Yesterday’s update showed evidence of nine academics having bought research manuscripts from cyberspace, whilst another 21 have been exonerated thus far.

“We are carrying out investigations on the rest.”

The alarm was sounded when a cluster of university lecturers emerged, churning out research works outside their expertise, all within a remarkably short period. This prompted orders from the authorities for these 33 nationwide universities to probe into the originality of their faculty’s work.

The Deputy Secretary expressed disappointment in the lackadaisical attitude of eight of these universities towards identifying the issue. He urgently called upon educational institutions to speed up the investigation process and apply stern sanctions to those found involved in academic plagiarism.

In addition, he divulged that the ministry has officially requested for the police to level criminal charges against a minimum of five online merchants offering a broad range of research papers thus infringing the Tertiary Education Act.

He pointed out that the main clientele of these illicit online services was on the payroll of state-run universities as their career advancement is often tethered to the volume of research papers they publish.

“Chulabhorn Royal Academy has relieved a member of staff from duty following the discovery of purchased research content in their work.”

The headmaster of Chiang Mai University, Pongrak Sribunditmongkol, who is also at the helm of the Council of University Presidents of Thailand (CUPT), revealed that disciplinary action has also been taken at his institution with one researcher dismissed, while two others are currently under scrutiny for academic plagiarism reported Bangkok Post.

“The CUPT denounces the practice, which is a gross violation of ethics. This is not something to be taken lightly. All it takes is one person to bring the entire academic community into disrepute.”

MHESI Minister Anek Laothamatas urged universities earlier this year to take legal action against staff members found culpable or linked to plagiarised work and/or deception.

EducationThailand News

Mitch Connor

Mitch is a Bangkok resident, having relocated from Southern California, via Florida in 2022. He studied journalism before dropping out of college to teach English in South America. After returning to the US, he spent 4 years working for various online publishers before moving to Thailand.

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