Academic Misconduct in Portugal: Results from a Large Scale Survey to University Economics/Business Students

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Aurora Teixeira
Maria de Fátima Rocha
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The phenomenon of cheating in higher education is of overwhelming importance in that the students engaging in these acts are unlikely to have the skills necessary for their future professional life. Despite its relevance, the empirical evaluation of cheating in universities has been almost exclusively focused on the US context. Little is known about cheating at the European level, let alone in Portugal. Even less is explored at the regional level. In this paper we present evidence on the perception of cheating by Portuguese undergraduate students of economics/business degrees. We undertake a large-scale survey, involving 2675 students from all Portuguese mainland public universities (10). We found that copying-favourable environments are associated with a higher propensity to cheat. Moreover, in universities where 'codes of honour' exist, this propensity tends to be lower. Finally, the propensity to copy seems to be highly influenced by the cultural systems and socially-related factors of different regions.