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NTU appoints Acting Head for Chinese Faculty amid plagiarism allegation against Assoc Prof Qu

Nanyang Technological University (NTU) has named Assoc Prof Yow Cheun Hoe as Acting Head of the Chinese department, effective since last Friday (28 July), amidst investigations into alleged plagiarism by former head Assoc Prof Qu Jingyi (曲景毅).

The allegations were brought to light by a Reddit user, who highlighted similarities between a 2018 paper published by Assoc Prof Qu and a 2014 paper authored by NTU student Wang Yueming (王岳明).



SINGAPORE: Nanyang Technological University (NTU) has appointed an acting head for the Chinese department following an investigation into alleged plagiarism accusations against former head Associate Professor Qu Jingyi (曲景毅).

A check on NTU’s College of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences official website indicates that Associate Professor Yow Cheun Hoe (游俊豪) has been appointed as Acting Head for the Chinese Faculty, effective last Friday (28 July).

Meanwhile, Prof Qu’s titles as the department head and deputy director of the Centre for Chinese Language and Culture have been revoked.

NTU investigating the plagiarism accusation

NTU responded to the issue last Thursday (27 Jul) through the media, stating that the School of Humanities is investigating the allegations.

However, they declined to reveal further details, citing the ongoing nature of the investigation.

According to Lianhe Zaobao, a spokesperson from NTU emphasizing that the university is dedicated to maintaining the highest standards of ethics and professional conduct.

They stated that accusations of academic misconduct are taken very seriously.

On Tuesday (25 Jul), a user on the online forum Reddit pointed out similarities between a paper published in 2018 by Assoc Prof Qu and a paper written by NTU student Wang Yueming (王岳明) in 2014.

Assoc Prof Qu’s academic paper, titled “Escape as A Mode of Existence: Ruan Ji’s Escapism Complex,” was published in English in 2018, while Wang’s student paper was written in Chinese.

The user claimed that both are very similar and almost identical in many parts.

“Come to think of it, even though this prof is the thesis supervisor of this student, the prof doesn’t have ownership of this research right? shouldn’t the prof at least co-author with this student in the English essay?”

The student believes that this constitutes a clear act of plagiarism, with the professor allegedly taking credit for the student’s work.

Wang’s final year project in 2014

Wang’s paper, titled “Escapism in the Literary Works of Ruan Ji” (论阮籍诗文中的逃避主义), was his final year project, and Associate Professor Qu served as his supervisor.

Meanwhile, Assoc Prof Qu’s paper, which was previously posted on the online repository Academia, has been taken down.

However, it is still accessible for viewing on another website, available here.

According to The Straits Times, their investigation revealed that more than 50% of Professor Qu’s paper appears to be a direct translation of Mr. Wang’s 2014 paper, without giving proper attribution to the latter. These sections include analyses of poems and inferences drawn from related research papers.

Assoc Prof Qu originally from Tianjin, China

Born in Tianjin in 1979, Assoc Prof Qu Graduated from the Chinese Department of Anhui University in July 2006.

According to information available on NTU’s website, Assoc Prof Qu joined the university in 2010 and was the Head of Chinese and Deputy Director of the Centre for Chinese Language and Culture at NTU’s School of Humanities.

He has an impressive publication record with over 100 works published in both Chinese and English, including 49 journal articles and four books.

Assoc Prof Qu earned his doctorate degree from two prestigious institutions: Peking University and the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Throughout his academic career, he has been recognized for his achievements with scholarships and awards, such as the Fulbright Scholarship and NTU’s Nanyang Education Award.

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