NTU don accused of plagiarising former student’s work ‘no longer employed by the university’
The Nanyang Technological University (NTU) academic at the centre of a plagiarism scandal in July is no longer employed by the university.
In response to queries from The Straits Times, an NTU spokesman said: “Associate Professor Qu Jingyi is no longer employed by the university with effect from Oct 11, 2023. As disciplinary proceedings are confidential. We are unable to comment further.
“The university is committed to the highest standards of ethical and professional conduct, and takes all academic misconduct and breach of the university’s code of conduct very seriously.”
The NTU spokesman did not elaborate on whether Prof Qu was dismissed or had resigned.
In July, Prof Qu was accused of plagiarising a former student’s final-year project in his 2018 research paper, titled Escape As A Mode Of Existence: On Ruan Ji’s Escapism Complex.
He was the head of Chinese at the School of Humanities at NTU and the deputy director of its Centre for Chinese Language and Culture. A check on Thursday showed that Prof Qu’s profile has been removed from the department’s webpage.
The accusations against Prof Qu were first made on online forum Reddit by someone claiming to be an NTU student. The person had noticed stark similarities between Prof Qu’s 2018 research paper and Mr Wang Yueming’s 2014 project, titled Escapism In The Literary Works Of Ruan Ji.
Prof Qu was Mr Wang’s final-year project supervisor in 2014.
Prof Qu’s 2018 paper is written in English, while Mr Wang’s is in Chinese. Prof Qu’s paper, which was accessible on Academia.edu, an open repository of academic articles, has since been taken down.
Checks by The Straits Times in July found that more than 50 per cent of Prof Qu’s paper looked like a direct translation of Mr Wang’s paper, with no attribution to the latter. These sections included analyses of poems and inferences made on related research papers.
Prof Qu joined NTU in 2010 and holds a PhD from Peking University and the University of Wisconsin-Madison, according to his profile on the university’s website.
He has received scholarships such as the Fulbright Scholarship, Peking University PhD full scholarship and NTU’s Nanyang Education Award.
He has produced more than 100 published works in English and Chinese, including 49 journal articles.
Associate Professor Yow Cheun Hoe, the director of NTU’s Chinese Heritage Centre and the Centre for Chinese Language and Culture, remains the department’s acting head, according to the NTU Chinese department’s webpage. He was appointed in July after ST reported the accusations against Prof Qu.