At Tallinn Technical University where I do my postgraduate in CS, the policy on cheating and plagiarizing is quite strict. The minimal punishment is zero for grade and the student has to take the course again next year. The maximum punishment is expulsion from university.
A good rule on plagiarizing was written down by one of my professors. Quote: "Using diagrams, source code or text in unchanged or changed but recognizably similar format without citing to the original source is plagiarism. Presenting plagiarized work means automatically grade zero". When citing the sources, it must me clearly stated, what part originates from original source and what is the contribution of the presenter. External but quoted are considered not done" or partially done", depending on author's own contribution." Sorry for bad translation, it sounds almost as bad in its original language (Estonian).
In my opinion, when you cheat at university, the place is definitely not for you.
To communicate is the beginning of understanding. -- AT&T