Contract cheating alert

Online study platforms are seeking to employ students at Australian higher education providers to promote their services to other students via on-campus events and activities.

Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency (TEQSA) has informed us that it has viewed examples of such recruitment efforts, and its Higher Education Integrity Unit is concerned some of these platforms may promote, enable or supply commercial academic cheating services (also known as ‘contract cheating’).

ACU shares these concerns. We are contacting students to notify them that, if they are promoting a website that is found to be breaking Australian law, there is a risk they could face criminal penalties.

Under Australia’s anti-cheating laws, it is illegal to promote or sell academic cheating services. Those involved in such activities could face up to two years’ imprisonment or fines of up to $110,000.

TEQSA is continuing to monitor and assess the operation of several online platforms to determine whether there has been a breach of Australia’s anti-cheating legislation.

Academic integrity is vital for preserving the reputation of our higher education sector and protecting student interests.

We encourage you to familiarise yourself with the ACU Academic Integrity and Misconduct Policy. You can also explore TEQSA’s ‘Understanding academic integrity’ site to learn more about the importance of academic integrity and how to address contract cheating.

Students can contact the Career Development Service to seek advice on any request from an organisation to promote their company/service to other students on campus. For advice and support on academic integrity and misconduct, students can contact AskACU or email the Student Advocacy service.

More information

For advice on academic integrity matters, please continue to engage with the relevant staff in your school or faculty.

If you have any questions about the higher education standards or TEQSA’s approach to contract cheating, please contact the OPSM team.

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