A theory of change for student-led academic integrity

Deborah Richards*, Sonia Saddiqui, Fiona White, Nicholas McGuigan, Judi Homewood

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Breaches in academic integrity are a pervasive and enduring international concern to the overall quality of higher education. Despite students being the group most affected by academic integrity policies, organisational culture is such that students tend to be passive recipients of change initiatives, rather than the drivers. To deliver a paradigm change, a theory of change framework was designed, implemented and applied to explore the viability of a student-led academic integrity society. To achieve this, a national research project involving three stages of data collection (surveys, interviews and focus groups) was conducted to obtain the perspectives of students and student representatives. The key outcome of the project has been the recent launch of an academic integrity student society, a novel initiative outside the United States of America. The theory of change framework presented here seeks to offer guidance to other institutions contemplating the viability of student-led change to academic integrity and the establishment of academic integrity student societies, in particular.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)242-259
Number of pages18
JournalQuality in Higher Education
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2016


  • academic integrity
  • honour codes
  • quality in higher education
  • student leadership
  • student societies
  • Theory of change


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