Friday, October 23, 2009

Cheating rife, standards plunge in Poland’s universities

From: The News
Cheating at university in Poland is “not unusual” and many students say that they would be buy a masters thesis.

According to a survey by the PSB DGA pollsters, 54 per cent of students reveal that, in their group, cheating is not unusual, while 39 per cent of students claim that tutors do not mind cheating at exams.

Students do not refrain from buying a Master’s thesis, either. Although 80 per cent of students assure that they would never ask someone to write a dissertation for them, 11 per cent would buy a thesis for over 500 zloty (119 euro) and 9 per cent for less than that.

Despite the generally held view that Polish universities have a good image abroad, standards have been falling rapidly as numbers rise but finances to not keep pace.

Lecturers frequently skip lectures due to having a job in more than one place of learning. In one of Poland’s higher schools, students were taught by a deceased teacher who had been recorded on a video tape.

Meanwhile, intellectual potential of MA graduates has dramatically gone down because of the influx of universities, mainly private ones. Twenty years ago the number of students did not exceed 400,000, today it is almost 2 million.

However, it seems that neither university staff, nor students notice the inconvenience and the fall of teaching standards. Ninety one percent of university teachers and 84 per cent of students claim that they are satisfied with their performance and the university they work or study at. No one feels anger or shame and just a few students – 19 per cent - are bored (usually at private universities).

University staff praise themselves for being wise, talented and always prepared for the classes (95 per cent). Students largely support this opinion (87 per cent).

The survey was conducted between 9-16 October among 1194 students and 367 university teachers.