Most universities invest heavily in tools to identify plagiarism and students found to have plagiarised work can expect a sharp reprimand or even suspension. At the same time, most universities accept students learning web design to use website templates made by someone else as a base for their work.
The primary aim of any university teaching web- or graphic design is (or should be) to make sure that their students are well prepared to meet the demands of the job market when they finally graduate which is why most universities invest heavily in tools to identify plagiarism. For all universities, it is simply an unquestionable fact that students should deliver original work as part of their education.
One, therefore, must ask why it is unacceptable for students to copy work in all disciplines—except courses related to web design?
In courses of web design, students often are expected to use website builder themes or templates made by a professional web designer as a base for their work. At the same time, a graphic design student getting caught using a logotype-template from a marketplace like Graphic River (graphicriver.net) might get suspended. This makes little sense as the two are the same thing.
Sure, learning how to read and write code takes effort, but becoming proficient in any design tool does. I have worked for twenty years in Photoshop, but I still learn new and more efficient ways of working with this tool in almost every new project.
No employer expect graduating students to be experts, but it is expected by a growing number of employers that graphic designer entering the job market should be proficient—not only in Photoshop, Illustrator, and inDesign—but also in how to read and write web code as almost every marketing campaign on today’s market include at least some digital asset.
Every educational institution teaching graphic design therefore should ensure that their graduating students are well prepared when entering the job market. This means not only teaching students how to use the Adobe suite (Photoshop, inDesign, Illustrator etc), but also how to read and write web code—which begins with not accepting their students to use website templates and site builders as a base for their work.