Your partner in anywhere, anytime learning and research. Our libraries are open and we continue to support access to online services and resources. Full details are on our Covid-19 site.

Fundamental values of academic integrity

In order to maintain a culture of academic integrity, members of the Waterloo community are expected to promote:

  • honesty
  • trust
  • fairness
  • respect
  • responsibility

Academic integrity is a commitment to these fundamental values, even in the face of adversity. The actions that flow from these values support the academic process. Academic integrity applies to all academic endeavours – teaching, learning and scholarship - and to a range of academic activities, from conduct in research to the writing of co-op work term reports.

As with integrity generally, academic integrity carries with it benefits for the individual practicing right behaviour as well as benefits for the broader culture. 

A student of academic integrity will experience optimal intellectual and skills development. The peers of a student of academic integrity will experience equitable opportunities to excel. The institution as a whole will enjoy the reputation, and will provide the stimulating environment that characterises a culture of academic integrity.

Magpie with Waterloo items

Illustration by Scott McKowen reproduced with permission of the Waterloo Magazine.

Magpies have a reputation for stealing anything that they can carry away, especially shiny objects. They also steal other birds' eggs and young. So I'm suggesting an academic thieving magpie with a stash of prizes that refer to student life generally, and the academic disciplines of the six UW faculties in particular. There's a class ring, a silver pen, coins, a pair of reading glasses, a computer mouse, a data stick. There are some snippets of torn paper ‘crib sheets,’ with philosophy notes or mathematical equations. There are a couple of textbooks. The bird is holding a Waterloo crest keychain in his bill. The magpie's distinctive black and white plumage almost starts to look like academic robes in this context! - Scott McKowen

*We wish to acknowledge the International Centre for Academic Integrity, whose efforts have provided a foundation for the expressions of the fundamental values of academic integrity presented in this tutorial.

Next: Academic misconduct