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UOWD hosts UAE Centre for Academic Integrity (UAI)

UOWD hosts UAE Centre for Academic Integrity (UAI)

Monday, 26 April, 2021

The University of Wollongong in Dubai is the hosting campus for the Centre for Academic Integrity in the UAE that launched on 21st October 2020 which is the Global Ethics Day and also the 5th International Day of Actions against Contract Cheating.

“As the pioneer campus in the country that has taken lead in research and awareness programs for academic integrity over the last 15 years, we are proud to host and support the Centre and look forward to working towards upholding integrity in academia” said Professor Mohamed Salem, President, University of Wollongong in Dubai.

The Centre, first of its kind in the region, aims to bring together educators, students and industry to discuss, create and promote the culture of integrity across school and university campuses in the UAE. The founding President of the Centre, Dr Zeenath Reza Khan, Assistant Professor of Information Sciences and Cyber Ethics at University of Wollongong in Dubai spearheaded the efforts to set up the centre. She said, “the UAE has shown the world that education comes first, amidst the 2020 pandemic crisis, the country rose to the challenge and provided tremendous support to the education sector from K-12 to tertiary level, to ensure continuity of learning for students. In line with the country’s 2021 Vision of first-rate education for all, we are delighted to launch this centre. The centre is dedicated to support the entire academic community through research and scholarship of teaching and learning in raising awareness, understanding and implementing values of academic integrity.” 

In 2016, UOWD hosted the first International Conference on Academic Integrity (ICAI-ME), where the notion of creating a possible Centre of Excellence began. The late Professor Tracey Bretag, President of Executive Board and Dr Teddi Fishman, President of International Centre for Academic Integrity were instrumental to this dialogue. These scholars attended the conference, not only as Keynote Speakers but as catalysts for change in the region. They firmly indicated the need for a central body that would be supported collectively by local universities and run by faculty and researchers from within the country to benefit the greater community.

In the four years since this event, UOWD in collaboration with Dubai Tourism has hosted a second international conference, European Network for Academic Integrity’s 6th International Conference Plagiarism Across Europe and Beyond 2020, and a series of awareness campaigns and events. 

A founding group of six teachers and researchers have come together to engage in this pioneering effort to support the greater community. The founding members have received tremendous support in this endeavour from national and international champions of academic integrity from Canada to Australia, USA to Europe. “The Centre for Academic Integrity in the UAE provides a much needed forum for information exchange, research collaboration and professional development, in the ongoing pursuit of honesty and fairness in higher education. This Centre demonstrates a commitment to support transparency and promote responsible behaviour in academia in the UAE” said Dr Christopher Hill, Vice President of the Centre and Associate Professor at British University in Dubai.

The tree in the Centre’s logo symbolises the stage the group has reached in launching the centre. “The tree has yet to bear fruit; but the path has been set and we hope to walk it with the community’s support” said Dr Khan. 

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