I believe that one of the main motivations of those of us who are concerned about promoting academic integrity, has to do with the commitment to graduate excellent professionals from our universities, that is, technically efficient and ethically responsible people, capable of responding with moral conscience to the great challenges of our time.

Currently, one of these challenges is represented by corruption. The Corruption Perception Index 2021 of Transparency International indicates that the levels of corruption in the world have stagnated in the last 10 years, with the global average score being 43 points, where 100 is zero corruption and two thirds of the countries do not reach 50. It also indicates that in several of the countries where it has deepened, there is a deterioration of democracy and respect for human rights (2021 Corruption Perceptions Index reveals a decade… - Transparency.org).

In general, the fight against corruption focuses on the design of mechanisms for prevention, inspection, control, detection and punishment of illicit actions, as well as abuse of power. The contribution that we can make from education to combat this situation has to do, without a doubt, with the formation of upright professionals. People who, as the International Center for Academic Integrity points out, are capable of making ethical decisions in difficult situations, and who learn to do so from their university experience, with the study of academic integrity.

At Tecnológico de Monterrey, in addition to the launch of our Academic Integrity Program, we conceive integrity as a transversal competence that must be intentionally developed from the curriculum. The competency-based education approach, promoted by the Organization for Cooperation in Economic Development (OECD) and the Tuning Project since the 1990s, recognizes the importance of developing ethical capacities, in terms of attitudes, values, knowledge and skills, which allow future graduates to respond in a comprehensive, appropriate, and ethical manner to the challenges they will face as professional. (Tobon, 2013).

Considering integrity in terms of a competence has implied for us, defining, on the one hand, the knowledge, skills and attitudes that we want to promote in the student body, and on the other hand, designing learning strategies that develop the necessary moral sensitivity in our students to value the importance of integrity in their daily life, and the motivation to act in accordance with this principle, generating proposals with quality and justice, in accordance with the needs of the society.

Seen as a competence, we conceive integrity as: "the ability to resolve situations in academic, professional and social life, by complying with laws, regulations and ethical principles." (Tecnologico de Monterrey, 2019: 47-50). In order to assess the development level of this competence in a student, we established, through a process of theoretical foundation and qualitative analysis, a set of indicators. Some of them are the ability to:

  1. Recognize the personal and social implications of dishonesty and corruption.
  2. Reflect from ethical theories on the sense and significance of issues related to integrity, honesty, trust and justice in relation to a context.
  3. Carry out activities and projects without harming others.
  4. Know the corresponding regulations to the academic and professional activities carried out.
  5. Identify the social purposes of their profession, analyze them and be able to reflect on them, etc.

To work on this competence, we design learning situations that respond to four dimensions of moral development: 1. Awareness, where our students learn to identify situations that put integrity at risk and their consequences. 2. Understanding the meaning of integrity and the importance of learning to make decisions from this perspective. 3. Motivation, related to the ability to prioritize the values of integrity when making decisions, and 4. Action aimed at satisfying the social needs served by the profession (Ayala, E. and Gallego, D., 2019: 139–147; Rest. J. 1994: 1-25).

Thus, we have built a strategy that addresses the teaching of integrity from a double intervention: The Academic Integrity Program and its implications for institutional design, and integrity conceived as a transversal competence, developed from the curriculum in some specific learning experiences. With this approach we hope to contribute to the training of responsible professionals, who from the public or private organizations in which they are going to carry out their work, are able to denormalize fraud, cheating, lies and deceit, and to contribute to the strengthening of democratic life from any of its institutions.

Bibliography:

Ayala, E. y Gallego, D. (2019). “Propuesta educativa para la formación ética y ciudadana en el nuevo modelo educativo del Tecnológico de Monterrey”. En González, E., Siurana, J., López, J. García, M. Ética y democracia desde la razón cordial, pp. 139-147.

OCDE. (2001). Defining and selecting key competencies.  Rychen D.S. & Salganik L.H. (Eds.).Recuperada  desde: https://www.deseco.ch/bfs/deseco/en/index/03/02.parsys.78532.downloadList.94248.DownloadFile.tmp/2005.dscexecutivesummary.sp.pdf

Rest, J. (1994), “Theory and Research”, in Rest, J. y Narvaez, D. (Ed)., Moral Development in the Professions, Psychology and Applied Ethics, Psychology Press, New Jersey, pp. 1-25.

Tecnológico de Monterrey (2019). Competencias transversales. Documento guía para el docente de educación superior. Monterrey. México.

Tobón, S. (2013). Formación integral y competencias, pensamiento complejo, currículo, didáctica y evaluación. Bogotá. Ecoe. Recuperado desde: https://cife.edu.mx/recursos/2019/12/04/formacion-integral-y-competencias-pensamiento-complejo-curriculo-didactica-y-evaluacion/