Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile: UC advances in promoting academic integrity

In October 2020, UC approved its Academic Integrity Policy , a milestone that marked the beginning of a series of actions aimed at developing a culture of integrity at the Catholic University. On August 19, the Chancellor Ignacio Sánchez, the Academic Vice Chancellor, Fernando Purcell, the Academic Director of Teaching, Gonzalo Pizarro and the Senior Counselor of the UC, Almendra Aguilera, presented progress and visions regarding academic integrity in front of managers, teachers and professionals from across the university.

Both the authorities and the student representative agreed on the central role played by this issue in university education. From the perspective of the student body, the superior counselor reaffirmed the commitment to the subject. “The students are concerned about being upright, they are concerned about learning and having tools that serve them at the time of exercising their profession,” said Almendra Aguilera.

“The students are concerned about being upright, they are concerned about learning and having tools that serve them at the time of exercising their profession” – Almendra Aguilera, senior student advisor.

Recognizing certain prejudices around the disconnection of young people with integrity issues, he explained that part of these is due to the fact that many and many students enter the university with little or no knowledge in this regard. “Academic integrity is not something that students will easily internalize because most of them have never been told about this in their lives, so it is very important to have a dialogue on the subject,” he stressed.

Along these lines, the rector reviewed some of the actions that are currently being developed to advance in the construction of a culture of academic integrity at UC, such as workshops and resources aimed at students and teachers that are currently available digitally through the site. of Academic Integrity of the university. He also referred to the audiovisual capsules of good practices aimed at teachers, the incorporation of the commitment to integrity in general training courses or the Academic Integrity course that was available during the first semester for first-year students, among other actions.

“Society requires a change in which the central is the common good, and in which there is a commitment to the development of each and every one of its members. This change requires people to act upright and honest, and from the university we can be active protagonists of this change ”- rector Ignacio Sánchez

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The next challenge is to reach more students, and with this objective in mind, the Academic Director of Teaching, Gonzalo Pizarro, announced that the course will be available again during the second semester, this time open to all UC students. A new call was also opened for the “Integrity Stories” contest , which invites those who study at the university to share experiences on the subject through video capsules.

“Society requires a change in which the central is the common good, and in which there is a commitment to the development of each and every one of its members. This change requires people to act upright and honest, and from the university we can be active protagonists of this change ”, said the rector. “Our graduates must not only be capable from a technical and scientific point of view, but must be open to the different dimensions of the human, aware of their personal and social responsibility, and in coherence with our identity,” he added.

“The students are concerned about being upright, they are concerned about learning and having tools that will serve them at the time of exercising their profession” – Almendra Aguilera, Senior Counselor.

Open Academic Integrity course and absences management protocol
For his part, Gonzalo Pizarro, who directs the subjects related to academic integrity from the Academic Directorate of Teaching (DADo-VRA), made a positive evaluation of the reception that the course has had on this subject among first-year students. Among the comments of students who completed this training (available in online format), the fact that some of them have already had opportunities to apply what they have learned was particularly noteworthy.

“When we speak of academic integrity, we must recognize that it is not an isolated policy, but rather that it is central to all academic work at UC,” explained the Academic Vice Chancellor, Fernando Purcell, who emphasized the educational role that integrity fulfills. “This culture supposes the need to encourage responsibility and self-regulation of those who study at the university. Here there is discernment, there is a capacity that we must develop in the students themselves to be active and to train ”, he concluded.

“When we speak of academic integrity, we must recognize that it is not an isolated policy, but rather that it is central to all the academic work of UC” – Academic Vice Chancellor Fernando Purcell


Among the next announcements that the Academic Vice President will have regarding Academic Integrity, there is a document with guidelines for the management of absences that will be transversal to the university. Although there are currently guides on the subject, this document will allow to give greater certainty to both students and teachers regarding the steps to follow in the face of a lack of integrity.

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