SINGAPORE: Nanyang Technological University (NTU), entwined in a plagiarism controversy since July, has officially severed ties with the academic in question.
An NTU representative stated to The Straits Times, “Associate Professor Qu Jingyi is no longer affiliated with the university as of Oct 11, 2023. Given the confidential nature of disciplinary proceedings, we are not at liberty to discuss further details.”
The representative further emphasized, “NTU is firmly committed to maintaining the highest levels of ethical and professional conduct. All instances of academic misconduct and breaches of the university’s code of conduct are addressed with the gravest concern.”
Details regarding whether Prof Qu resigned or was dismissed were not provided by the NTU spokesman.
Earlier in July, a plagiarism accusation surfaced against Tianjin-born Associate Professor Qu Jingyi from NTU regarding a published academic paper that purportedly plagiarized a student’s graduation thesis.
A user on the online forum Reddit identified parallels between a paper published in 2018 by Associate Professor Qu Jingyi, then Head of NTU’s Chinese Department, and a paper written by NTU student Wang Yueming in 2014.
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 composed in Chinese.
The user alleged that both papers were strikingly similar, verging on identical in several sections. “Even though this professor is the thesis supervisor of this student, the professor doesn’t possess ownership of this research, right? Shouldn’t the professor at least co-author with this student in the English essay?” questioned the user.
The student in question asserts that this represents a clear instance of plagiarism, with the professor seemingly taking credit for the student’s work.
Wang’s final year project in 2014, titled “Escapism in the Literary Works of Ruan Ji” (论阮籍诗文中的逃避主义), was supervised by Associate Professor Qu.
In the meantime, Prof Qu’s paper, previously accessible on the online repository Academia, has been removed. However, it remains available for viewing on another website.
The Straits Times’ investigation uncovered that over 50% of Professor Qu’s paper seems to be a direct translation of Mr. Wang’s 2014 paper, absent proper attribution. The unacknowledged sections include analyses of poems and inferences from related research papers.
In the latter part of Professor Qu’s paper, notably during the analysis of four poems by Ruan Ji from the late Eastern Han dynasty, he appears to claim Mr. Wang’s observations as his own.
Prof Qu, born in Tianjin in 1979, graduated from the Chinese Department of Anhui University in July 2006. According to NTU’s website, he joined the university in 2010 and recently held positions of Head of Chinese and Deputy Director of the Centre for Chinese Language and Culture at NTU’s School of Humanities.
With over 100 works published in both Chinese and English, including 49 journal articles and four books, Prof Qu has maintained a prolific publication record. He obtained his doctorate degree from two eminent institutions: Peking University and the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Throughout his academic journey, he has been acknowledged for his accomplishments with scholarships and awards, such as the Fulbright Scholarship and NTU’s Nanyang Education Award.
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