Championing Research Ethics & Integrity at Western Sydney University

Episode #14

We chat with Professor Kevin Dunn, Pro Vice-Chancellor Research at Western Sydney University, about championing research ethics & integrity in higher education

Professor Kevin Dunn | Pro Vice-Chancellor Research at Western Sydney University

In this video, Professor Kevin Dunn discusses his role and responsibilities as they relate to research impact and integrity at Western Sydney University, and shares their approach for cultivating capable researchers across the institution.

Kevin explores how the university’s commitment to teaching research ethics begins at the bottom, in their undergraduate programs, and extends up to the postgraduate level and PhD cohort. He outlines their ethics programs bespoke to different disciplines, and the rigorous ethics review system for all research endeavours. Contending that good research habits start early, Kevin also acknowledges the help of edtech to reinforce lessons around plagiarism and fair scholarship that feed into research training.

Speaking about the University’s consideration of international students, Kevin acknowledges a cultural basis when it comes to adherence to Australian academic integrity standards and guidelines. He explains how the university is reconciling these cross-cultural expectations of how knowledge should be imparted, including the provision of academic literacy programs to help align international students and boost their academic outcomes.

Finally, Kevin reflects on the reality of the Australian university landscape in delivering increasingly large-scale units, which is pushing institutions to confront issues of integrity of assessment and equality in marking. He explores how Western Sydney University has risen to this challenge, and shares their approach toward fair and consistent assessment, including methods of inter-code reliability and inter-mark reliability.