, Volume 10, Issue 4, pp 299-311
Date: 17 Apr 2012

Supervisors and Academic Integrity: Supervisors as Exemplars and Mentors

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Abstract

The inculcation of academic integrity among post-graduate students is an ongoing concern for universities across the world. While various researchers have focused on causal relations between forms of instruction, student characteristics, and possession of academic integrity, there is need for an increased examination of the role of supervisors in shaping student perceptions of academic integrity. Unlike the undergraduate level, where student interaction with professors is often limited, post-graduate students have an ongoing relationship with their supervisors, whether at the Masters or Doctorate level. In some ways like masters over apprentices, rather than teachers over students, supervisors engage in continued interaction with post-graduate students, shaping these students views not only on the substance of their research, but also in how researchers “should” act. As part of a larger project in examining post-graduate student opinions on academic integrity and research ethics, we conducted surveys to investigate the relationship between student perceptions of their supervisors and student perceptions of academic integrity. We use survey data from a population of post-graduate students at a comprehensive research university in Hong Kong to analyze student perceptions of academic integrity and how students might be influenced by their supervisors’ service as mentors and/or ethic exemplars.