Unintentional plagiarism and academic integrity: the challenges and needs of postgraduate international students in Australia

Ghazalossadat Fatemi, Eisuke Saito

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


The rapid increase in the number of international students from different academic backgrounds studying in Australian higher education has required universities to reconsider how to support these students while ensuring academic integrity in new academic settings. The high number of studies on academic integrity and student support programmes at universities shows that unintentional plagiarism is still on the rise, particularly amongst postgraduate international students. Thus, this article reviews the literature with a focus on factors inducing plagiarism by international students at Australian universities. The results highlight the inadequate and insufficient quality of many support programmes in terms of contact time and teaching students about the necessity of attribution and proper ways of referencing. The findings also show that, because of the different practices of education regarding academic integrity throughout the world, simply having high proficiency in English writing skills is insufficient for international postgraduate students to avoid unintentional plagiarism in a new academic setting. Considering these factors, new pedagogical strategies are recommended to help international students become aware of the academic form and context of the target communities and assist them in adjusting, rather than criticising their academic works and undermining their confidence in the new educational system.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1305-1319
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Further and Higher Education
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2020


  • academic integrity
  • academic systems
  • higher education
  • international students
  • Plagiarism

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