Plagiarism: TETFund insists on examining research proposals

Kuni Tyessi in Abuja

The Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund) says all research proposals from faculty and other academics undergo an anti-plagiarism test before receiving agency funding.

TETFund Executive Secretary Sonny Echono, making the announcement yesterday in Abuja during a courtesy visit by the Committee of Vice-Chancellors of Nigerian Universities (CVCNU), said that only the proposals scaled by the anti-plagiarism software developed by CVC would grant their approval.

TETFund lamented the attitude of Nigerians who are now completely dependent on the internet or enlist the services of foreigners in writing projects and theses.

“We’ve had feedback, we’ve heard that it’s now possible to go on the internet and copy entire theses or even hire private actors outside of this country, some countries are notorious for this and we believe in the anti- Plagiarism devices go a long way in detecting this and ensuring compliance.

“Indeed, we at TETFund have implemented a policy whereby all suggestions that reach us for support must go through your system and receive confirmation that they have met the minimum standard required of all publishers and authors before benefiting from our support be able .

Additionally, Echono urged universities to do more by ensuring more Nigerians study in the country to conserve the vast resources being spent in foreign institutions abroad.

“If you look at the amount we spend sending children across our shores – overseas for education, the cost per student sending people to Europe and America, especially the cost of sponsoring a child there, it’s enough to train 15 or 20 over here.

“Given the tremendous challenges we face, we need to find a way to look within. Therefore, we keep challenging the private universities in particular to create synergies and compete with these foreign universities that attract our students,” he said.

Earlier, CVCNU Chair and Niger Delta University Vice-Chancellor Professor Samuel Gowon Edoumiekumo said the body, established in 1962, has 218 universities as members approved by the National Universities Commission (NUC).

“The CVCNU serves as a platform to help Nigerian universities achieve academic, administrative and community excellence through collaboration and exchange of ideas with their leadership,” he said.

Professor Edoumiekumo, who was accompanied during the visit by the Secretary General of the CVCNU, Professor Yakubu Ochefu, among others, expressed his delight at the Committee’s partnership with TETFund in the field of anti-plagiarism and digitization of theses.

“The CVCNU is working closely with the Fund to provide thesis digitization for Nigerian universities. This is in addition to using our proprietary plagiarism detection software called EagleScan.

“The application is a world-class solution that allows all final year and graduate students to perform a plagiarism check before submitting their long essays/dissertations, developed by a team of software engineers from six public and private universities in Nigeria, EagleScan It plugs into multiple local research repositories and offers 14 features, including local language support, that set it apart from local and international competitors.

“Fund support for both projects is a significant turning point in efforts to develop a National Academic Research Repository,” he said.

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