"No Write Way": Plagiarism Policy, Implementation, and Intercultural Competence at NYU Shanghai

Degree Name

MA in International Education

First Advisor

Raymond Young


This capstone examines the development and implementation of NYU Shanghai’s academic integrity policy with a specific focus on plagiarism. Plagiarism is difficult to define within individual classrooms, departments, and higher educational institutions. What constitutes plagiarism and how to address academic integrity violations differs based on the university context. At NYU Shanghai, students, staff, and faculty come from a variety of social, cultural, linguistic, and educational experiences. With such a diverse academic community, NYU Shanghai is well positioned to design a situation-specific plagiarism policy responsive to student learning goals and intercultural competencies.

The majority of students at NYU Shanghai are from China and the United States. Scholars may purport that U.S. and Chinese approaches to academic integrity are fundamentally at odds, yet NYU Shanghai’s policy attempts to avoid culturally deterministic assumptions by focusing on education and norming community attitudes. The capstone includes a limited needs assessment to better understand student, staff, and faculty perceptions of plagiarism and academic integrity. Limited responses are supplemented with current literature in the fields of composition and rhetoric, teaching English to speakers of other languages (TESOL), and integrity in higher education.

NYU Shanghai employs a developmental approach to learning where there is a balance of punitive measures and educational remediation for suspected cases of plagiarism. While the current policy may define plagiarism with intercultural sensitivity, it is difficult to implement similarly responsive training programs and academic interventions for students. Empowering stakeholders to participate in the formation of university norms and policy will align how plagiarism is framed with implementation strategies and encourage policy compliance.


Higher Education | International and Comparative Education

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