1.2. Why is Academic Integrity Important?

Academic Integrity is important for the following FIVE reasons:

  1. it ensures fairness in the education that students pursue,
  2. it ensures fairness in the academic work that students complete,
  3. it ensures fairness in the grades that students earn,
  4. it protects the value of your credentials, and
  5. it protects the reputation of your academic institution.

Now let’s look at each reason in a bit more detail.  As a student, you should consider the areas discussed below as key guiding principles when asked about academic integrity. Remember these words: fairness, value and reputation.

Protecting Fairness in Education

Academic Integrity is important because it ensures fairness in the education that students pursue, in the academic work that students complete, and in the grades that students earn.

With regard to fairness, let’s consider two students: Student A and Student B. If Student A invested time and effort in order to submit their own work, they would have achieved and earned a grade based on the work that they did. If Student B did not invest any time or effort and they submitted work that was not their own, then it would not be fair to Student A or any other students in the class if Student B were able to obtain a similar grade to other students or any grade at all. It takes Course Instructors a lot of time to investigate Academic Offences and proceed with the Academic Offence process. Time that Course Instructors could spend marking, preparing for classes, or communicating with students, may have to be spent to investigate and document Academic Offences. Fanshawe College intends to maintain an educational environment that is based on fairness for all students and for all Course Instructors.

With regard to academic work being completed, if students expect their work to be marked and to receive grades for the work that they do, then they need to prepare, complete, and submit work that is their own – work that reflects their own understanding of the course content and work that demonstrates that they’re developing a mastery of the skill set that they’ll need to progress through the course and program and to succeed in their workplace after graduation.

With regard to grades being earned, the tuition that students pay provides them with access to their courses, course materials, FanshaweOnline course sites, their Course Instructors who are experts in their fields and industries, and to all of the services and resources that are available to students across the College. The payment of tuition fees does not equate to the purchasing of grades. Grades are not purchased, they cannot be bought. Grades are earned and they’re earned based on the academic work that students complete and students should be completing academic work and earning grades in an educational environment that is based on fairness.

Protecting the Value of Your Credentials

Academic Integrity is also important because it protects the values of the degrees, diplomas, and certificates that are conferred upon Fanshawe graduates. If we consider Student A and Student B again…if Student A completed all of their work and earned their grades, then they will have earned their diploma and they will be able to meet the expectations of their employer. If Student B did not complete all of their own work and was able to somehow obtain rather than earn their grades and their diploma, then they may get hired somewhere but they would not be able to meet the expectations of their employer. This could result in an employer or industry devaluing certain degrees, diplomas, or certificates which would have an adverse effect on graduates who had earned those credentials, students working toward earning those credentials, and the faculty and staff at the College who support students and graduates. It’s in everyone’s best interest that the value of degrees, diplomas, and certificates be protected.

Protecting the Reputation of an Institution

Lastly, Academic Integrity is important because it reinforces Fanshawe College’s reputation as an educational institution that supports students and their success and provides industries with graduates who can perform and both meet and exceed expectations. Our local, national, and global communities depend upon graduates from Fanshawe College so it’s important to everyone that Fanshawe’s reputation be reinforced and further enhanced.


If you have any questions, please feel free to email the Academic Integrity Office at academicintegrity@fanshawec.ca


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Academic Integrity at Fanshawe College Copyright © 2022 by the Academic Integrity Office at Fanshawe College is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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