Why Chinese Culture Leads to High Plagiarism Rate in Chinese Universities Essay

November 27, 2020 by Essay Writer


The issue of plagiarism in China and other Asian countries has worried scholars from the west and the rest of the world for centuries. The scholars live in constant fear of being denied the rightful ownership of their academic work.

The communism ideals in China dictate that all property (including ideas) is owned by the community and should therefore remain a property of the community. This makes it hard for university students to give credit to an individual for something that rightfully belongs to the community. It is important to look where this notion came from in order to look for effective ways of fighting the vice. Given its magnitude, the problem in Chinese universities cannot be solved overnight.

There is need for patience and overhaul of the existing education system that is itself a byproduct of plagiarism. By having the right mindset, we can succeed in identifying the underlying causes of the problem and effectively solve it. This will be the main goal of the research paper. Although this is hard to attain, the research has an objective of proposing small steps to be taken towards achieving the main goal. (Altbach, 2010)

Literature Review

The large amount of literature that has been dedicated to plagiarism in Chinese universities emphasizes the impact that culture has on the issue. This chapter will give a review of the secondary literature available on the subject. With the world having become a global village, education systems have to be harmonized to provide a fair playing ground for students from every part of the world. Different theories are appraised according to their role and significance to the present topic, that is, the rate of plagiarism in Chinese universities.

According to Martin (1994), high-ranking officials perpetuate plagiarism when they use junior staff to write their speeches and later on fail to acknowledge them. Yusof (2009) upholds this claim by inferring that this trend moves down to the lower officials and finally to students making it even more complex. Yusof (2009) further claims that the idea of plagiarism is foreign to students especially from Chinese setting.

According to Gill (2008), having insight in the Chinese cultural dimensions is the first step toward tackling this dynamic problem. Altbach (2010) identifies China’s academic culture as a key issue hindering the plagiarism fight in Chinese universities. According to Friedma & Gump (2010), Chinese universities will form the backbone of China’s future economic growth.

However, they claim that the culture of academic plagiarism will most definitely harbor this process. In the light of this proposal, China Daily (2010) observes that the country has taken important steps to ensure that it curbs the spread of academic fraud in its universities. Other people who have tried to initiate research on the plagiarism subject include Ary, et. al. (2006) among other scholars.

Research Methodology

Having studied the broad outline of the research on the role played by culture in explaining the high levels of plagiarism, the research paper will go further and define the borders of the research namely, Research Approach, Research Strategies, Data Collection Methods and distribution of the data and information to reach the conclusions of the research. In this respect, deductive and inductive approaches to this paper are eminent. This is because the plagiarism problem is widespread in all Chinese universities.

The research strategy revolves around collecting data from different universities in China, electronic media and online libraries and then applying different theories based on the data collected to provide valuable information regarding the plagiarism issue in Chinese universities. The data is then presented in a realistic manner to make a conclusion on the data provided. In this research, the main sources of data will mainly be secondary i.e. electronic media and online libraries.

Given that the report relies heavily on secondary data, there are bound to be limitations. Electronic media and online libraries are subject to manipulation and stereotyping in order to suit the personal interest of the researcher and may therefore substantially impair objectivity and integrity of the research. However, this will be overcome by using only credible online sources. (Yusof, 2009)

Expected Outcome

The research paper will be expected to expose the magnitude of the Chinese plagiarism problem. The report will also propose ways through which the problem can be tackled effectively. The success of the report will be seen when small changes begin to be effected in the education system following the release of the research.

Considered that the report identifies Chinese universities to be the tool that will catapult the nation into its next phase of economic development, it is expected that the report will be given primacy during the implementation stage. (Gill, 2008)


Given the enormity of the problem, the report will implement initial measures that will have to be carried out in the first six months following the release of this report. The research paper will also give a timeline chart containing an action plan that will have to be adhered to during the implementation process.

This will ensure that the report is not left to gather dust as many others that have been produced on the same issue have done. This timeline is expected to produce initial reforms that will pave the way for a complete overhaul of the Chinese university system that condones plagiarism. (China Daily, 2010)

Cost and Expenses

Since it is expected that implementing the recommendations of the report will take up substantive amount of labor and money, the report will propose a fiscal budget that will determine the amount of money expected to be used. In proposing the budget, the report will consider the current billable hours per person currently being used in the market. In order to avoid unseen pitfalls on the way, the report will also allow a margin of error to cater for all the unexpected challenges. (China Daily, 2010)


Altbach, P. (2010). Academic Fraud and the Academic Culture in China – and Asia. Web.

Ary, D. et. al. (2006). Introduction to Research in Education. Seventh Edition. Belmont, CA: Thomson Wadsworth.

China Daily. (2010). China Cracks Down on Academic Fraud, Plagiarism. Web.

Friedma, P. & Gump, A. (2010). Plagiarism and China’s Future Economic Development. Web.

Gill, J. (2008). Cultural Insight Can Help Tackle Plagiarism. Web.

Martin, B. (1994). Plagiarism: A Misplaced Emphasis. Journal of Information Ethics. 3 (2). 36-47.

Yusof, D. (2009). A Different Perspective on Plagiarism. The Internet TESL Journal. 15 (2). Web.

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