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M. Espinosa-Pike, M.E. Aldazabal, B. Arosa, I. Barrainkua

University of the Basque Country (SPAIN)
The development of generic competences is one of the main challenges pursued by the new European Higher Education Area. Among them, the ethical competence is receiving great attention from national and international agencies. The need to train responsible professionals, sensitive to the interests and social needs and able to respond to the demands that society will pose in the future, is one of the current goals of higher education.
Academic literature reveals that students’ academic honesty can be a good indicator of the achievement of the ethical competence and of the future behavior of student when he/she comes to the labor market.
The aim of this paper is to analyze the effectiveness of business higher education training on the ethical competence of students. With this purpose, we have observed and compared the perceptions and practices of academic dishonesty of students in the first year and in the last years of their training. The results of the study show that, on the contrary to what we would expect, the perceptions of academic dishonesty practice do not improve during the curriculum. Students from the highest courses consider more acceptable, in ethical terms, several of the different academic dishonesty practices than their mates from the first courses.