The University of the West Indies says recent media reports of increased and widespread cheating is “untrue, unethical, and is an unwarranted assault on The UWI and must be rejected.” The following is a press release from UWI:
The University of the West Indies categorically rejects misinformed allegations in recent media coverage on the subject of the integrity of its examinations, as the institution transitioned to online evaluations in response to the exigencies of the pandemic.
The University is confident there is absolutely no evidentiary basis upon which the media reporting of increased or widespread cheating can be taken as factual. Alarmed by the unfounded allegation, Vice-Chancellor of The UWI, Professor Sir Hilary Beckles stated, “These are highly offensive, inflammatory and unprofessional allegations because they are not rooted in any factual evidence.
Once again, ad hoc and random references are unscientifically strung together to damage the hard-earned reputation of the University but cannot stand as sound reporting. To argue that the University is a cheater and has widespread student cheating is untrue, unethical, and is an unwarranted assault on The UWI and must be rejected.”
The University assures that its systems for teaching and examination continue to be robust. It is for this reason that the initial anomalies which were discovered and subjected to a detailed investigation in an internal report prepared by the Mona Campus to The UWI Academic Board, came to the fore.
The University stands on the integrity of its examination processes.
In this regard, there has always been keen attention to the full adherence of the system purposefully designed to monitor and identify irregularities and non-compliance. Pre-pandemic data on examinations, tracked from 2018 to present, show a mere average of less than 1% in irregularities.
The UWI has been conducting further investigations across all its campuses to uncover whether there are any anomalies correlated to the advent of remote learning in the COVID pandemic. This is consistent with the University’s Assessment regulations which detail a zero-tolerance policy in relation to cheating.
Through its quality assurance mechanisms, the University meticulously assesses and guards against any propensity for cheating, and takes seriously the responsibility of monitoring, evaluating and preserving the standards of its degrees and processes.
The UWI remains committed to maintaining its integrity of its teaching and examinations while continuing to provide the necessary support systems for students that allow them to perform at their best, particularly during these challenging times.