The Ministry of Education recently passed its first rules to define academic misconduct and specify punishments for offenders. Its Precaution and Treatment of Academic Misconduct in Colleges and Universities come into force on September 1.

The document defines six types of academic misconduct, including plagiarism, fraud, falsification, inappropriate authorship, providing false information and dealing in papers. The Ministry allows colleges and universities to define further forms academic misconducts.

For punishments, those guilty of academic misconduct may face a published notice of criticism, termination of research projects, recalling of awards and honorary titles, termination and other measures according to laws and regulations.

Colleges and universities may also give warnings, record demerits and demote or dismiss a faculty member. When academic misconduct is directly related to a degree program, the school must suspend or not award the degree, the Ministry said.

The new rules also call on schools to respond to anonymous tips that supply sufficient evidence or clear clues. When academic misconduct is revealed by media, other academic institutions or social organizations, colleges and universities must investigate and deal with it, the Ministry said.

Schools which allow academic misconduct may face the termination of benefits derived from such, as well as investigation by the Ministry. In such cases, the president of the college or university will be held responsible, the Ministry said.

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