"The regulation, seen as part of a broader campaign to stamp out academic misconduct, which is harming the country's reputation internationally, is being described in state-run media as the 'first of its kind' in the country," says the University World News. Under the new rules, plagiarism on theses can result in denial of degrees at all levels, as well as withdrawal of degrees awarded in the past. Misconduct could also lead to the expulsion of students and banning them from reapplying for a period of years, as well as the dismissal of university faculty and staff members.
In addition to the new regulations, some universities have reportedly begun using anti-plagiarism software to detect fraud. But commercial "paper mills" selling phony academic work, which advertise openly in the country, are touting their ability--for an extra fee--to outfox the universities' computerized sleuthing.
And the whole anti-fraud effort "would be useless" without ways "to implement the regulations effectively," says Guandong University professor Zhao Guanyin, quoted in the article. Can China actually change a culture of cheating that appears to be endemic? Stay tuned.