Nigeria takes the lead on tackling plagiarism

NIGERIA is pioneering the promotion of academic integrity in Africa by adopting Turnitin plagiarism detection software.

It is the first African country to introduce the system on a nationwide basis.

Turnitin is working in partnership with the Committee of Vice Chancellors of Nigerian Universities (CVC) to roll out the technology across the country.

In the UK, Turnitin is used by 98% of UK higher education institutions, following a national initiative funded by government body the Joint Information Systems Committee in 2002.2.

Turnitin Vice President of International, Will Murray, who led the UK roll-out programme, said: “Nigeria is leading the way as the first African country to adopt Turnitin on a national basis.

“It is following the example of the UK, Pakistan, Turkey and several other countries in choosing Turnitin to ensure the integrity of its scholarly works on a national basis.

“This move highlights the determination of Nigerian higher education institutions to address the issue of plagiarism and promote academic integrity and authenticity as well as enhance their reputations on an international level.

“We’re delighted to be assisting the CVC in establishing a national model for academic integrity in Nigeria and onsite training has already begun.”

Turnitin compares submitted works against a vast database of information from internet pages, journals and other academic content.

Research conducted last year with 17 Nigerian post-graduates studying at a UK university highlighted a lack of awareness about plagiarism and suggested a need for an institutional plagiarism mitigation system in Nigeria.

One student told researcher Stella-Maris Orim: “When I didn’t know about plagiarism it wasn’t a problem; now that I do it is a serious problem.”

Another said: “Awareness is a starting point, after which a structure should be put in place.”

CVC Secretary General Mike Fabarode said: “We are delighted to be pioneering this commitment to academic integrity in Africa.

“There was overwhelming readiness across the board, in both public and private universities, to adopt Turnitin in all Nigerian universities at a recent meeting of the body.

“After a generous discount negotiated with Turnitin of the UK, the VCs are committing almost $1 million annually for the first three years of the Agreement.”

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For further information please contact PR and Communications Officer Caroline Smith on (0) 845 643 0105 or intmedia@turnitin.com