Assessing the level of plagiarism in academic work among students in six universities in Rwanda
Anecdotal evidence suggests that higher education institutions in Rwanda face issues of plagiarism. It is critical to understand the magnitude of this to ensure appropriate interventions are implemented. A study was conducted to assess the magnitude of plagiarism among students in higher education institutions in Rwanda. Six universities in Rwanda provided their school policies on plagiarism and 183 students’ written work samples. The percentages of similarity of the work samples detected by the plagiarism detection software Turnitin, and the types of plagiarism were assessed. The average similarity percentage was 40%, and moderate to significant levels of plagiarism were found in more than 77% of the samples. Universities that provide regular writing training for students and communicate clear anti-plagiarism policies to their students were found to have lower levels of plagiarism. It is recommended that universities in Rwanda should invest in plagiarism detection software and provide training workshops to avoid plagiarism occurring.