Exploring Undergraduate Learners’ Experiences and Attitudes Toward Academic Misconduct: Prevalence and Prevention 

Bita Nzar Noori1&Hewa Fouad Ali2 

2English Language Teaching Department, Faculty of Education, Tishk International University, Erbil, Iraq 

1Independent Researcher, Erbil, Iraq 

Email: 1 [email protected] & 2[email protected] 

Published: February 22, 2023


Many detrimental factors contribute to creating a negative learning environment in universities leading to the prevalence of academic misconduct. The issue of academic misconduct, particularly for unsupervised assessments such as writing tasks, is of great concern to the stakeholders in higher education. The primary aim of the study was to explore undergraduate students’ perceptions and attitudes toward academic misconduct focusing on collusion, ghostwriting, and other common forms of misconduct. A mixed-methods design was followed to gather data, including surveys to collect quantitative data on learners’ awareness of academic integrity policies. A total of 14 undergraduate EFL learners were recruited from a private university and participated in two focus group sessions to collect qualitative data on learners’ perceptions of academic misconduct. The sessions were audio-recorded, transcribed, and analyzed using thematic analysis. The results of the study revealed the status of academic misconduct prevalence amongst undergraduate learners. The study also identified underlying factors that may contribute to the occurrence of some forms of academic misconduct, such as a lack of understanding of academic integrity policies and a lack of consequences for those who engage in such behavior, lack of competence, peer pressure, and lack of time. The study highlights the need for universities and academic institutions to implement effective measures to prevent and address academic misconduct among undergraduate students. 

Keywords: Academic Integrity, Academic Misconduct, Ghostwriting, Collusion. Undergraduate Attitudes

DOI: 10.23918/vesal2023v11