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Contract Cheating in Iran: An Overview of Key Issues and a Call to Action

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In our descriptive exploratory qualitative study, we investigated the issue of contract cheating in Iranian higher education contexts. Through our analysis, we provide insights into measures taken in Iran to prevent contract cheating and mitigate its effects. Our study analyses secondary data including scholarly articles, published media, and the country’s current policies. Results showed that more empirical primary data from which to draw definitive conclusions is needed, and as such, developing an evidence-based body of knowledge about the prevalence and characteristics of contract cheating in Iran remains a persistent call to action. Our analysis of scholarly studies (n = 102) and grey literature sources (n = 195) showed an overarching lack of university accountability; students’ motives for engaging in contract cheating; and lack of appropriate legislation were enabling factors. We conclude that Iran lags behind other countries with regards to what is known about contract cheating and how to address it; as such, we conclude with a call to action for increased supports for education; policy and legislation; and scholarship.

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This article is an expansion of the authors’ collaborative work presented at the University of Calgary in 2019. We acknowledge the ongoing support provided to us by our respective universities.

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Correspondence to Azimeh Takrimi.

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Takrimi, A., Khojasteh Mehr, R. & Eaton, S.E. Contract Cheating in Iran: An Overview of Key Issues and a Call to Action. J Acad Ethics 21, 323–341 (2023).

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