Cheating students allowed to graduate
THREE students who cheated in their final-year exams escaped serious punishment and were allowed to graduate last week.
The three Galway/Mayo Institute of Technology (GMIT) students had owned up to plagiarism for an assignment that formed part of their final assessment.
The students were not given any marks for that section, but were allowed to proceed with the rest of their finals.
Sources said it was unusual not to penalise the students in some other way -- other colleges make cheating students repeat part of the exam or even the full year.
But last night the GMIT said the disciplinary committee believed a zero mark for the assignment was a "proportionate response".
Most of the staff attended the conferring ceremony, although some had misgivings not just about the plagiarism but about other allegations of final-year students being upgraded on appeal.
The institute confirmed two students had expressed concern about the support they received and said their concerns were upheld.
The institute insisted it had not received any notification that some staff boycotted the conferring ceremony in protest.
"GMIT is aware that one staff member was unhappy with the decision of the disciplinary committee in respect of the allegation of plagiarism," it added.
However, the head of the Department of Construction Studies/School of Engineering, Tom White, took the unusual step of sending an email to 46 staff thanking those who had turned up for the graduation.
But he added: "I am aware that some members of staff were not happy with decisions of appeals boards and chose to stay away and I have no problem with that.
"I would prefer if such staff would, in writing, make their views known to the registrar."