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LSST joins QAA Academic Integrity Charter to uphold the hard work of its students

Kunal Chan Mehta

By Kunal Chan Mehta | Article Date: 24 May 2021

Lord Mike Storey © UK Parliament (2021)



To uphold academic integrity, LSST joins the QAA’s Integrity Charter – a sector-wide effort to protect hardworking students and the reputation of the UK’s higher education system. The Charter provides the baseline position for LSST to continue developing its standards and quality procedures that ensure every student’s qualification is genuine and respected.


Lord Mike Storey, a member of the QAA Academic Integrity Advisory Group and lead for the Higher Education Cheating Services Prohibition Bill, told LSST: ‘The academic integrity of our UK universities, colleges and private providers, such as LSST, is paramount at a time of misinformation, of essay mills and contract cheating. I welcome and support the QAA Integrity Charter.’

Speaking with LSST, Gareth Crossman, QAA’s Head of Policy, added: ‘Every university and college that signs the Charter is demonstrating its own, and a collective, commitment to promote academic integrity. At the heart is collaboration, with students best placed to lead the fight to combat academic misconduct. It’s a significant step forward, but we also need action from governments and internet service providers to make it impossible for essay mills to function.’

‘Any cheating in academia is utterly unfair on those students who work extremely hard,’ asserted Mr Mohammed Zaidi, LSST’s Deputy CEO. ‘This is why LSST is extremely proud to be a part of the QAA’s Integrity Charter – the gold standard for the entire education sector – that helps inspire students to think with originality.’

There are no winners in cheating!

At LSST, the most fervent supporters of the Charter are its students who remain adamant about preventing and tackling academic misconduct head-on.

‘There are no winners in cheating! Therefore, we aim to transmute how students perceive academic misconduct. Frankly, any student who deliberately cheats precariously jeopardises their academic and future careers,’ added Irina Barariu, LSST’s Student Union President. ‘Bizarrely, this contrasts with their sheer effort in applying and getting onto a course in the first place. Nevertheless, the guilt of being fraudulent to imitate skills and competencies will always come back to haunt wrongdoers.’

When, in 2018, LSST’s Student Union openly spoke with Google about the appalling essay mill adverts and targeted messages on YouTube, there was already substantial student support for banning them. Commendably, Google continues to remove countless such adverts. Further, in 2018, LSST students spoke with the OfS about academic integrity methods that they could share with the OfS to help uphold standards across HE.

Charter Principles

The seven principles in the Charter will help providers develop their own policies and practices to ensure that each student’s qualification is genuine, verifiable, and respected.

The seven principles are:

  • All members of a higher education provider’s community are responsible for embedding and upholding academic integrity.

  • Taking a holistic ‘whole community’ approach, covering all provision.

  • To work together as a sector.

  • To engage with and empower students.

  • To empower and engage with staff.

  • To have consistent and effective institutional policies and practices.

  • To take responsibility as autonomous institutions for promoting and maintaining the quality and integrity of provision and securing the academic standards of awards.

LSST is currently working with its Student Union to foster academic integrity awareness campaigns and training based on the Charter.

Please contact kunal.mehta@lsst.ac for any questions or comments on this article.


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