Survey: College Plagiarism Is at an All-Time High

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A new survey from the Pew Research Center shows plagiarism in college is on the rise.

The survey, called “The Digital Revolution and Higher Education,” asked 1,055 college presidents from two- to four-year schools, private and public for their thoughts on how digital technology has impacted college.

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More than half of the college presidents surveyed said that plagiarism in students’ paper has increased over the past 10 years. Further, an overwhelming majority — 89 percent — say computers and the Internet have played a major role in the rise in stealing others work and claiming it as their own.

Some other key findings:

— 62% of college presidents anticipate that 10 years from now, more than half of the textbooks used by their undergraduate students will be entirely digital

— 77% of college presidents say their institutions now offer online courses, a figure they expect to expand. While 15% say most of their current undergraduate students have taken an online course, 50% predict that 10 years from now most of their students will take classes online

— Online courses are more prevalent in public colleges and universities. While 89% of four-year public schools offer online courses, just 60% of private schools offer them

The survey also asked questions of 2,142 adults ages 18 and older and compared them against the responses from the presidents. One notable difference in opinion between the presidents and the public was over the value of online learning. While 51% of college presidents say online courses offer an equal value compared with courses taken in the classroom, only 29% of the public agree.

Kayla Webley is a Writer-Reporter at TIME. Find her on Twitter at @kaylawebley or on Facebook at You can also continue the discussion on TIME’s Facebook page and on Twitter at @TIME.

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