15 British Graduates Claim UiTM Stole Their Group MBA Thesis Papers From 1994

UiTM says they will get to the bottom of this serious allegation.

  • Does academic cheating exist in Malaysia?

    It does — if we're to take into account the allegation levelled against UiTM by a group of 15 British graduates of the University of Bath.

    • The 15 students, from 4 groups of graduates of the 1994 Bath Executive MBA-Malaysian Institute of Management (MIM) programme, have claimed that their MBA thesis papers have been used without their consent and uploaded to University Technology Mara's "Institutional Repository", The Star reported.

  • Accusing the UiTM of intellectual property theft, Sam Than, one of the affected graduates, told The Star he came to know about the theft of his thesis paper while searching for information on Google

    • The , who completed his group thesis paper for his MBA 22 years ago, found that it was uploaded to the repository.

      "What was more puzzling was that our thesis had the UiTM logo and copyright mark on their paper. In the preview, you can see the UiTM logo clearly placed on the front of the project page, giving the impression that we had somehow collaborated on the thesis with UiTM or under its auspices," The Star quoted Sam as saying.

      Aged 58, Sam completed his group thesis paper for his MBA 22 years ago in 1994.

  • Sam — who is a consultant — also claimed that three other groups from his programme had found out that their Bath MBA thesis papers were also uploaded in UiTM's Institutional Repository

    • "Subsequently, I e-mailed UiTM demanding why it was uploaded to its repository and they replied informing me that the thesis had now been taken down," he told The Star.

      The local English Daily, on the other hand, said that while it found that Sam's group paper had been taken down from the UiTM's Institutional Repository, those from the other three groups were still there.

      Meanwhile, In an e-mail reply to The Star, MIM said that it was not aware of the matter and it would not have given UiTM permission.

      "In the case of a thesis, the intellectual property rights lie with the student and the conferring institution - in this case, the University of Bath," MIM told The Star.

  • Responding to the allegations of plagiarism levelled against UiTM, its Vice-Chancellor Dr. Hassan has ordered an immediate inquiry

    • "UiTM's repository has a well-known rule on the immediate removal of any plagiarised material. We have instituted an immediate enquiry and will get to the bottom of this serious allegation," said the Vice-Chancellor Prof Emeritus Dr. Hassan, adding that while UiTM is deeply sympathetic with the complainants, the Uni will reserve judgement on the complaint until a full and fair inquiry is completed, The Star reported.

      "Academic integrity is a matter of great importance to UiTM. Hence, preventive measures are in place to check abuse and misuse of intellectual property."

  • "UiTM will not shield any wrongdoer and will cooperate with legal authorities," said the Vice-Chancellor while adding that any student or academic who violates rules against plagiarism was subject to disciplinary proceedings, which can result in severe penalties

  • Meanwhile, P Ramasamy, State Assemblyman for Prai, has said that academic cheating is a serious crime in Malaysian universities, and those who are caught can be prosecuted, jailed or fined.

    Unfortunately though, the Ministry of Education that oversees academic standards, he writes, "simply does not have the political will to reduce academic cheating in institutions of higher learning".

  • NOTE: We will update the story in case there's any development.

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