China on Monday began soliciting public opinion on draft regulations for the punishment of fraudulent behavior in granting academic degrees, a move expected to curb fraud and plagiarism in higher-learning institutions. Specifying punishments, the Ministry of Education (MOE) said in the draft regulations that colleges shall disqualify applicants for graduate, postgraduate, or doctoral degrees if they commit plagiarism or fraud in their academic degree thesis. The students shall be banned from applying for further degrees within three years. Degrees already awarded shall be revoked if such misconduct is found, under the proposals. Tutors are required to teach academic ethics to their students, guide them in their thesis research and writing, and supervise them to ensure they finish their thesis by themselves. Tutors of students who commit fraud can be suspended or removed from their post, the regulations stipulate. Colleges shall set up or entrust an independent investigation institution to identify fraudulent activity in degree granting, but the legitimate rights of those suspected should be protected, the draft adds. The State Council or provincial academic degree committees shall revoke higher-learning institutions\' right to grant degrees if multiple academic fraud cases are spotted, according to the regulations.