Sector alert: Changes in activities of commercial academic cheating services

TEQSA has today alerted all Australian higher education institutions to changes observed in the behaviour of commercial academic cheating services. Reports and observations suggest operators are becoming more aggressive in their promotional activities and are more frequently targeting the students who use their services for blackmail and identity theft.

TEQSA has written to registered providers outlining the observed behaviour of cheating services and highlighting the actions institutions should take to mitigate the risk to students, staff and academic integrity.

Higher Education Integrity Unit Director Dr Helen Gniel said: "We know that higher education providers take these risks seriously and have been proactive in responding by working to educate students, detect cheating and upskill staff. We appreciate the sector’s ongoing commitment to meet the challenges of this evolving threat."

Amendments to the TEQSA Act in September 2020 made it illegal to provide or advertise a commercial academic cheating service in Australia. The new laws also empowered TEQSA to take action to disrupt access to illegal websites targeting students at Australian institutions.

As of April 2024, TEQSA has disrupted almost 290 illegal cheating websites and had 841 social media accounts, posts or adverts providing or advertising illegal cheating services removed.

Last year, we also launched an online course, Masterclass: contract cheating detection and deterrence. This course is available free to academic and professional staff at Australian higher education providers and to date has received 3098 registered users.

Dr Gniel said a range of resources for students, including in languages other than English, and the sector continue to be updated on TEQSA’s website.

"TEQSA is leading Australia’s regulatory and educative approach to prevent, detect and respond to commercial academic cheating services that threaten the integrity of Australian higher education."

Media enquiries, 0437 143 012

Last updated: